Instagram has started blocking links to Telegram and Snapchat on its profiles. The new change emerges months after WhatsApp blocked Telegram links.
You might be aware that Instagram profile allows you to include links to your presence on the web through ‘add me’ or ‘follow me’ section. Until now, it was open for all websites and services. But the Facebook-owned company has just started blocking Telegram and Snapchat links.
Telegram spotted the new development and explicitly mentioned its presence in a tweet on Thursday. Interestingly, Instagram isn’t defining the motive behind the new update but confirms the change.
“We’ve removed the ability to include ‘add me’ links on Instagram profile pages,” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch. “This was a rare use-case, and not the way our platform was intended to be used. Other types of links are still allowed.”
The “other type of links” that the spokesperson mentioned in the statement could be the links to your YouTube channel or a blog. TechOne3 separately confirms that you can still use links to your Facebook page or profile or even to your accounts on LinkedIn or Twitter.
All this shows that the special treatment is only limited to the links to Telegram and Snapchat. Well, this could be a competitive strategy of Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook that has WhatsApp as a competitor against Telegram and had designed ephemeral messaging app Slingshot in the past to rival Snapchat.
If you’ve attempted to add a link to your Telegram or Snapchat profile, the Instagram app will provide a message that reads, “Links asking someone to add you on another service aren’t supported on Instagram.”
This isn’t the first time when Facebook is on an anti-competitive move. In December, it enabled WhatsApp client to start closing down all the hyperlinks in the chat threads that are directing to Telegram.
Compared to over a billion users on WhatsApp, Telegram is far behind with its 100 million monthly active users. But this doesn’t mean that the Russian app isn’t a strong competitor of the Facebook offering. It has features like end-to-end encrypted messages and self-destruct timers to take on WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps.
Snapchat, on the other hand, is already among the biggest contenders for Facebook. The video messaging app apparently inspired Facebook to develop its Slingshot in June 2014. But with the closure of Creative Labs, Slingshot went offline in December.