Facebook has disabled some of the features of Messenger and Instagram for users in the EU in a bid to comply with new rules on data usage.
Messenger and Instagram users in the EU are seeing a prompt about the unavailability of some features. “This is to respect new rules for messaging services in Europe. We’re working to bring them back,” reads the message.
Facebook has not disclosed all the features that have been temporarily disabled, but it has confirmed features such as polls are not available on Messenger and Instagram in Europe. Messenger has lost personalized replies, whereas stickers on Instagram are missing.
According to The Verge, the ability to send certain files has also been disabled for now. Other disabled features include the ability to share AR effects on Instagram DMs.
Facebook has not confirmed when the disabled featured will be resumed. In a statement to BBC, the company said, “We’re still determining the best way to bring these features back. It takes time to rebuild products in a way that works seamlessly for people and also comply with the new regulation.”
It is worth noting that Instagram and Messenger users in the EU can continue to use core messaging and calling features.
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According to the BBC report, the EU’s ePrivacy directive does not have anything that could lead to the disabling of features such as stickers or polls. It speculates that the company may be playing it safe in order to avoid breaking the local rules.
That said, EU’s ePrivacy rules are aimed at restricting what companies can do with users’ messages and even metadata. Rules also bar the interception or surveillance of messages and metadata without getting consent from users. You can read the ePrivacy rules here.