Remember last year when WhatsApp started blocking links to messaging rival Telegram? Well, Facebook HQ is spreading the love – or hate, as the case may be – with Instagram now blocking links to Telegram too, along with Snapchat. Facebook seems to be on an unfriending binge, not so subtly trying to stop users from using competing services.
The latest snub comes in the bio section of Instagram, where you can place links to other sites and services you frequent on the internet. As Tech Crunch first noted, Telegram and Snapchat links can no longer be added to the section. According to an Instagram spokesman, it’s because Instagram “has removed the ability to include ‘add me’ links to profiles” although Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope and YouTube channel links are still accepted.
This sounds more like a cheap excuse for blocking competing messaging services rather than some pseudo-official tidying up of the platform to stop ‘add me’ links. Considering the highly selective nature of the link blocking, Telegram founder Pavel Durov’s persecution complex seems pretty legit. Like they say, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really after you.
After all, Telegram recently surpassed 100 million active monthly suers, no small feat and one that was kick started following one of the many WhatsApp hacks in recent years. Telegram became the default go-to service for the mass exodus from WhatsApp and its end-to-end encryption has made it increasingly popular in this post-Snowden world.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) March 2, 2016
It will be interesting to see if any other social platform links get blocked in the coming weeks and months. Facebook and its various properties can, of course, choose to allow or block any links it so chooses, but moves like this feel a little like fighting dirty. If Telegram is increasingly stepping on WhatsApp’s and Messenger’s turf, perhaps Facebook should take a look at the reasons why and try to improve its own services rather than cheekily try to block users linking to competing platforms.
What do you think of this move? Share your thoughts on Telegram below.