Meta will soon remove the feature that enables it chat with Facebook friends on Instagram. Since mid-December, the company breaks cross-platform integrationwhich it added in 2020. The company hasn’t given a reason for the move, but speculation is that it’s trying to avoid EU regulatory changes.

This optional cross-platform linking feature was announced back in 2019, then launched a year later. “Just as you can communicate with a Gmail account today, if you have a Yahoo account, those accounts will be able to communicate with each other through the shared protocol that is Messenger,” Messenger Vice President Loredena Crisan said at the time.

Meta stated that starting around mid-December 2023, it will no longer be possible to start new chats or calls with Facebook friends from Instagram. If you have any existing conversations on Instagram with Facebook accounts, they will remain read-only. Additionally, Facebook accounts will no longer be able to track your activity status or show read receipts. It should also be noted that any existing conversations with Facebook accounts will not be transferred to your inbox on either platform.

The EU designed its landmark law on digital markets, adopted in 2022, as preventing platform holders from gaining monopoly power. If a company exceeds a certain revenue threshold and the European Commission deems the platform too dominant, it can impose a fine of up to 10% of its total worldwide turnover for the previous year. Given how much of a scare it is, Meta probably decided that Instagram and Facebook’s linked messaging feature wasn’t worth the risk.