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Monday, March 7, 2016

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Instagram starts blocking users from linking to Snapchat and Telegram

Instagram, a Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform, has started to play hard with its users. Starting from now, Instagram has decided to block links in users' profiles to private messaging apps Snapchat and Telegram.

This decision was made quietly, without any official statement or communication to Instagram users. So, the first public note was made on Telegram’s official Twitter account.

Another interesting fact is that no other social networks are affected, just Telegram and Snapchat.

This means that users will still be able to drop a link to a Twitter account, Facebook profile or other personal websites. To be added that Instagram isn’t blocking all Snapchat and Telegram links, just those which are made to let other users to quickly follow profiles on other social networks, for example “add me” links.
Facebook war against Telegram is real

This means that when a user is trying to direct users to his Telegram or Snapchat profile, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service will display a message saying,

"Links asking someone to add you on another service aren't supported on Instagram."

To be added that Instagram has confirmed the change through a TechChrunch statement: "We’ve removed the ability to include ‘add me’ links on Instagram profile pages.

This was a rare use-case, and not the way our platform was intended to be used," an Instagram spokesperson said. "Other types of links are still allowed."

It is not clear how many Instagram users are sending “add me” links to Telegram or Snapchat on their Instagram profiles, but it looks like the company is very upset about this. Pavel Durov, Telegram founder, has declared that Instagram’s decision is explicitly targeting his platform. However, this move also affects rival messaging app Snapchat.

Durov has also declared that deeplinking to other social services does still work, for example Twitter, VK, Periscope, LinkedIn Facebook and YouTube.
It seems Instagram started to block links to Telegram accounts and channels (like https://telegram.me/durov ) from their website section (ie the only place on Instagram where you can have clickable links),” Durov has declared. 

To be added that last month, the message service app, Telegram, has reached approximately 100 million monthly active users. So, this might be a huge concern to Facebook, which probably leads it to shutter deeplinking and block one potential way to spread rival services.

Another interesting thing is that WhatsApp has also began to block links to Telegram web addresses back in November. That ban is still in effect for Android users of WhatsApp.

When Facebook’s messaging app was banned in Brazil, users began moving to Telegram, which has been a huge hit for WhatsApp. So, it means that there is a bit of a fight between Facebook and Telegram.

Pavel Durov also has an active account on Instagram, with close to 100,000 followers on the service. Moreover, he also has 122 posts showing his nomadic lifestyle. After being asked why he thinks Instagram has blocked deeplinking, he answered, “Our 100M active users or the rise of Telegram Channels.”
From their side, they might’ve noticed more and more Instagram users setting links to their Telegram accounts and channels in the website section of Instagram,” he added.



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