Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp appears to be blocking any links to rival chat service Telegram. While WhatsApp still allows users to share Telegram links, another popular chat client, it doesn’t treat them as hyperlinks. The problem only appears to be occurring on the WhatsApp forAndroid client, and iOS remains unaffected.
Several Telegram users reported on Monday that WhatsApp was blocking links to Telegram.me on its service. Such messages, furthermore, can’t be copied or forwarded to friends. Gadgets 360 independently verified the claim and also found that many other links with Telegram as the server name were also blocked by WhatsApp. Telegram.notme and Telegram.com, that are not related with Telegram service, for instance, are also being blocked.
Notably, Telegram links messaged by the iOS app show up as un-clickable links on Android, while links shared by the Android app to iOS can be opened on Apple’s platform.
Telegram has earned a name providing end-to-end encryption technologies on its chat platform. The service, which uses multiple layers of encryption, is so secure that even terrorist groups such as Isis turn to it. Though Telegram gained substantial popularity only following a major WhatsApp outage last year and on other occasions.
Telegram has confirmed this suspicious activity by WhatsApp to The Verge. The company told the publication that a silent update to WhatsApp seems to have added this capability to the chat app. Some users who don’t have the latest version of the app installed might not see the block on Telegram links just yet. A Telegram spokesperson added, “Typically after a media backlash, FB steps back and blames their intelligent filtering for the problem. We expect the same to happen this time as well.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has been accused of censoring content and blocking links. Over the years, the company has also blocked links to torrent websites and to spam websites. Most recently, the company blocked links to Tsu.co, a social network that pays users part of the ad revenue. WhatsApp or Facebook is yet to comment on the blockage. At this point, it is not known whether Telegram.me links are getting blocked in the aftermath of a software hiccup, or WhatsApp is intentionally blocking links to its rival app.
Are you also facing blocked Telegram links on WhatsApp for other platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.