Facebook parent Meta will allow users in the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland to prevent information from being shared across the company’s apps. As a result, people who live in these regions will be able to use Instagram and Facebook separately, even if they are connected on the platform. Meanwhile, Meta will also allow users to create a Messenger account that is not linked to their Facebook account while changing how messaging on the company’s Marketplace platform works.

In a detailed post explaining the changes being made to comply with regulations — the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) — that Meta and other firms must comply with, the company says that users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who have already linked their Facebook and Instagram accounts can continue to operate these accounts, or unlink their accounts “so that their information is no longer used across accounts”.

Meta’s announcement comes a month after Instagram-Messenger cross app chats were shut down. Three years after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Meta would allow users to chat across its services, the company limited messaging to each platform. It also turned on support for end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) chats on Messenger in December.

Meanwhile, the company is also changing how users in these regions can use Messenger — while you can continue to chat using your Facebook account, Meta will also let you sign up for a new Messenger account that operates independently of your existing account. You’ll be able to send messages and call your contacts, but some features won’t work as expected.

For example, Messenger features for Marketplace that allow sellers to chat with buyers will be replaced with an option to use email, if their accounts are unlinked. Similarly, users who unlink their accounts from Facebook Gaming won’t have access to multiplayer features and targeted recommendations, according to the company.

Just like Meta’s optional ad-free subscription for Facebook and Instagram that was introduced two months ago, these changes will only be available to users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. The company could also bring the same functionality to other regions if legislation similar to the DMA is passed, allowing users in more countries to operate their accounts independently.


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