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The world's largest social network has more than 2 billion daily users, and is expanding rapidly around the world. Led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook undergirds much of the world's communication online, both through its flagship app and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus. Despite huge financial success, Facebook is also confronted with questions about data privacy, hate speech on the platform, and concerns that frequent social media use can lead to unhappiness. The Verge publishes a nightly newsletter about Facebook and democracy, subscribe here.

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Instagram and Facebook cross messaging is coming to an end

Later this month, Instagram and Facebook Messenger users will no longer be able to DM each other after Meta discontinues the feature. Existing conversations will go into read-only mode.

Now Meta’s Messenger app has a Notes status update feature just like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Over the last year, Meta has added AIM status-like features to Instagram and WhatsApp and today announced it's rolling out Notes (using the same name as Instagram’s feature) for Messenger globally.

You can’t post them from the desktop, but a support document explains how to add or remove Notes via iPhone, iPad, or Android device by clicking the thought bubble next to your profile picture. If you don’t remove them manually, the messages expire after 24 hours.

Screenshot of the Messenger app showing icons for online friends with message bubbles over their faces showing their current status posted as a note. One nmaed Ana is telling her friends “Best time of the Year!, while Alicia posts “wtw?” abd Michael’s note is an upside down smiley face emoji.
Notes in Messenger
Image: Meta
Mark Zuckerberg is not fighting anyone any time soon.

Meta’s CEO posted this picture to Instagram Friday night, saying, “Tore my ACL sparring and just got out of surgery.”

He was apparently training for his next competitive MMA match. Recovery from this type of injury takes up to a year for professional athletes, so an executive closing in on 40 could be out of action for a while. On the plus side, maybe this will keep Elon Musk from randomly threatening to show up at Zuckerberg’s house for a brawl.

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Facebook is making it easier to publish Instant Games.

Now, you can publish them without a Facebook review. Facebook won’t organically surface those games, which will be available as part of the app’s “Play Lab” tier, but the reduced friction could make it easier to get early feedback on a game that may not be ready for a full launch just yet.

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Meta now temporarily limits comments on posts about the war in Gaza.

Early this morning, Meta updated a blog post about its efforts regarding the war. The company detailed some changes it has made, including new, more limited default visibility settings for public posts made in the region, and making it easier for users to mass-delete comments on their posts.

Meta also said it had fixed several global bugs impacting the spread of information in the region.

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Would you pay $14/mth for ad-free Facebook or Instagram?

Or nearly $17/mth to use both. That’s what Meta is reportedly pitching EU regulators who want Zuck and Co to stop using personal data to target ads at European citizens without their consent. The bloc’s users could have three options by the end of this month: pay up, use for free but agree to personalized ads, or quit, with the latter looking very tempting.

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The Fifth Circuit Appeals court rules Biden admin “likely” violated the First Amendment.

A panel of judges ruled that government officials crossed a line while pressuring social media companies to curb covid misinformation, writing that they aren’t “permitted to advance these interests to the extent that it engages in viewpoint suppression.”

The court ... vacated much of U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s injunction, with the exception of a provision concerning alleged coercion, which it narrowed.

The 5th Circuit said the narrower injunction applied to the White House, the surgeon general, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FBI, but would no longer apply to other federal officials covered by the lower court order.

The judges had previously lifted the injunction, and this narrower one is on hold for ten days as the administration pursues a review by the Supreme Court.

This year’s Meta Connect will be a two-day event, in-person at Meta HQ.

We’ve known the date for Meta’s next developer event since the company revealed the details of its Quest 3 headset, and now there’s more information available.

The two full days of programming will include a Keynote hosted by Mark Zuckerberg, the Developer State of the Union, and breakout sessions covering a range of topics related to AI and virtual, mixed, and augmented reality. Those who attend in person will also have access to demo experiences, networking events, and more.