If you are one of those concerned about Meta's level of access to your information, we have some good news for you. Mark Zuckerberg's company can now unlink your Facebook, Instagram and Messenger accounts so that your data is not shared between platforms.
This decision is due to the need to comply with the new Digital Marketplace Act (DMA), which will come into effect at the beginning of March. Thus, the company is changing the way its services operate to comply with the regulations and avoid further clashes with regulators.
As you might have noticed, the new feature of unlinking Facebook, Instagram and Messenger accounts will not be available globally. It will only work for users of these social networks in the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.
As a reminder, Meta allows you to link Facebook and Instagram profiles through its Account Center to collect information and cross-reference it for various purposes. The most important one: to show you personalized ads based on your activity. But it doesn't stop there. This method also serves to show you posts that might be of interest to you based on your interactions in both apps, or to share content between the two social networks more easily.
Unlocking your Facebook and Instagram accounts won't prevent Meta from continuing to analyze your habits on its apps. However, it will force it to manage the data on its own. So, if you disable your social media profiles, Meta will no longer be able to use the content you see on Facebook to show ads on Instagram, and vice versa. The latter, of course, is just one example.
The changes Meta is introducing to allow European users to decouple their profiles from Facebook, Instagram and Messenger will result in certain restrictions. According to the California-based company, they will particularly affect services such as Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Gaming.
In the case of Messenger, users will be able to disable their Facebook profile and use it as a separate messaging app. As Meta explains, "core services" such as chats, audio and video calls will still be available. However, users will have to create a new account dedicated to the app.
In the case of Marketplace, users will also be able to unlink their Facebook account and continue to use it. Those who choose this option will retain the ability to buy and sell items, as well as browse the catalog of offers from other users. The significant difference is that if you don't use a Facebook profile, you'll have to contact the buyer or seller via email rather than Messenger.
With Facebook Gaming, something similar will happen: you will still be able to use Facebook Gaming without having an authorized profile. In this case, unlinking your Facebook account will limit the availability of games, as only some single-player games will be available. Multiplayer games and in-app purchases will require an account.
As mentioned above, unlinking Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger accounts won't prevent Meta from using your information to display ads or recommend personalized posts. But it will no longer be able to share data between the two platforms. This is a good step toward privacy, though not a final solution.
In addition, Zuckerberg's company reminded that those who no longer want to see ads on their social networks will have to pay. Eliminating ads on Facebook and Instagram costs €9,99 per month or €12,99 if you sign up with Android/iPhone. Starting in March, the company will start charging an additional 6 euros per month for each additional profile associated with the account center. It will be €8 per month if subscribing from mobile devices.