Facebook Messenger/ Instagram says “Some features not available”. Here’s why.

by Surur
December 16, 2020

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Numerous Facebook Messenger and Instagram users are seeing a message saying:

Some features not available
This is to respect new rules for messaging services in Europe. We’re working to bring them back.

The obvious question is which features are missing and why.  Facebook’s developer blog notes:

As part of our efforts to comply with new privacy rules in Europe, we’re making updates that will impact some developers and businesses that use our Messenger API. Beginning December 16th, several Messenger APIs will be unavailable for developers and businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses globally. These changes will impact some APIs and UI components (listed in the next sections) for the following audience:

  • Europe pages in all chats
  • Pages with admins in Europe in all chats
  • Any chats with people in Europe

Impacted countries: All of the 30 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, which includes:

  • All 27 European Union member states
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • United Kingdom

Given the impact listed previously, we recommend providing an alternate experience using quick replies, text and inline URLs for webviews for the impacted scenarios.

The limited features appear to mostly involve 3rd party Facebook API integration, though of course the message is also being displayed to regular users.

As of December 16th, according to MessengerPeople.com, the following features will no longer be available in Facebook Messenger:

  • Audio, video and document integration, meaning nothing but text can be sent.
  • Buttons (restriction desktop – mobile still possible)
  • Galleries (restriction desktop – mobile still possible)
  • Persistent menu
  • Handover protocol (One time Notification API)
  • Other graphic elements

Facebook says they are working on ways to restore the missing features in the near future.

Have any of our readers run into this issue? Let us know in the comments below.

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