WhatsApp is blocking links to the website of a competing messaging service following a recent update to its app. Links to Telegram.org sent via WhatsApp are no longer active (hyperlinked) when they appear in the conversation window. They also cannot be copied or pasted, which suggests WhatsApp is trying to prevent users from adopting the competing service.
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Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, uses similar link-blocking methods to stop users accessing illegal websites, but this is the first time we've seen this technique used in WhatsApp. Links to other messaging websites, such as Kik and Viber, sent within WhatsApp still work, as do links to the Telegram app in the Google Play Store.
A Telegram spokesperson, speaking to The Verge regarding the block, said: “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.”
We have reached out to WhatsApp for comment and will update this story if we receive a reply.
What do you think of WhatsApp's attempts to block Telegram links? Share your views in the comments.