Meta will soon remove a feature that lets you chat with Facebook friends on Instagram. Starting mid-December, the company will disconnect the cross-platform integration, which it added in 2020. It didn’t provide a reason for doing so, but, as 9to5Google speculates, avoiding regulatory consequences in the EU sounds like a logical motive.

Announced in 2019, the optional cross-platform integration went live a year later, blurring the lines between two of the company’s most popular services. “Just like today you could talk to a Gmail account if you have a Yahoo account, these accounts will be able to talk to each other through the shared protocol that is Messenger,” Messenger VP Loredena Crisan said at the time.

Meta says once “mid-December 2023” rolls around, you’ll no longer be able to start new chats or calls with Facebook friends from Instagram. If you have any existing conversations with Facebook accounts on Instagram, they’ll become read-only. In addition, Facebook accounts will no longer be able to see your activity status or view read receipts. Finally, any existing chats with Facebook accounts won’t move to your inbox on either platform.

The EU designed its landmark Digital Markets Act, passed in 2022, as a deterrent against platform holders from gaining monopoly power (or something close to it). If a company passes a revenue threshold and the European Commission deems the platform overly dominant, it can dole out a maximum penalty of 10 percent of its total global turnover from the previous year. Given the enforcement “stick” this provides the governing body, perhaps Meta saw the writing on the wall and deemed the Instagram / Facebook cross-messaging feature not worth the risk.