WhatsApp for Android blocks links to competing messenger Telegram

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

WhatsApp Is Blocking Links To Rival App Telegram On Android.

Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp appears to have started deliberately blocking links to rival messaging app Telegram so users can’t share clickable Telegram-associated URLs in their chats.In what may sound a bit discriminating, popular messaging service WhatsApp has started blocking links within its chats that point to a competing messenger platform called Telegram.• Telegram attributed the issue to a recent WhatsApp updateUsers have reported that links of Telegram app sent via WhatsApp on Android appear only as text and not as cli… Telegram users took to Reddit to say that while they could still post URLs to Telegram.me in WhatsApp, the messages did not appear as hyperlinks and could not be clicked or copied into another app.

Telegram gained popularity as an alternative to WhatsApp last year, following a major outage; it has also gained some infamy because its “Channels” functionality is reportedly favored by jihadi groups. That said, Android developer Jernej Virag claims to have found evidence in WhatsApp’s code that suggests it is indeed specifically targeting Telegram… The messaging app, which launched in mid 2013, has seen some impressive engagement growth this year — with the volume of messages sent daily via Telegram rising from around 1 billion this February to 12 billion by September.

However, this is not shocking news, since WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and the social network in the past, was caught blocking URLs from torrent website Pirate Bay and other social networks as well. According to a report by The Verge, a Telegram employee that this issue is due to a update pushed out by WhatsApp yesterday that disabled links to the rival app.

The Facebook-owned giant claimed to have passed the 900 million monthly user mark as of this September, so it can’t be far off hitting the magic 1BN MAUs mark. The report ends with a Telegram spokesperson commenting, “Typically after a media backlash, FB steps back and blames their intelligent filtering for the problem,”. Whatever the truth, it’s a not-so-gentle reminder that when it comes to dominant commercial platforms the content we the users are allowed to see and access is perennially at the whim of the platform owner and their commercial interests.

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