On Thursday, Facebook said it would no longer allow users to upload photos and videos from any of its social networks, including its popular Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
It’s a move that will come as a shock to many of the many millions of people who already use the social networking site to keep in touch with friends and family.
Facebook also removed some popular features from Instagram and Facebook Messenger, but only for users who signed up for Facebook Live.
In a blog post on Thursday, the company said the changes would help prevent abuse.
“We’re committed to ensuring that we can make it easier to share, organize, and discover photos and photoseries that people want to share and share,” the post read.
“And so we’ve removed a few features that we think aren’t helping people find their friends and other friends.”
In recent months, Facebook has also come under fire for blocking access to its photo-sharing app Instagram, and also for blocking users from using its Messenger app, which has long been a key tool for its millions of users.
Last year, Facebook also cut off access to several of its other popular social networks and app services, including Flickr, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.
The company said it was removing these features because they were no longer used by people, and had been used to provide “more reliable, high-quality content”.
“The changes we’ve made to Facebook’s content sharing policies for Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are part of an ongoing effort to make sure that our community and its users can continue to find each other, share things, and connect without worrying about where their photos are going,” Facebook said in a statement.
The changes were announced in a blog posted by Facebook’s head of product marketing, Nick Macfarlane.
Macfarlane said Facebook had recently “discovered a number of new issues in its community”, and had implemented “some of the most powerful features we’ve ever implemented on Facebook”.
“We’ve also heard that many people who were previously using these features were finding they could no longer share their photos or videos with their friends on those platforms,” he said.
“With these new changes, we’re going to be adding some tools that allow you to easily share photos and other videos with other Facebook users.
We’ve also made some changes to some of the features that have been removed from Facebook Messenger.”
He said Facebook’s aim was to provide better quality and better user experience.
“As we’re seeing more and more content and content formats getting into the public domain, we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to share their stories and photos with people they love,” he added.
“If you want to see more and better photos and video content, then you need to use Facebook.com or other social media services like Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest or Facebook.”
Facebook will be rolling out new features on its mobile apps later this year.