How do you go about being the biggest messaging app out there? Delivering the features your users want the most? Having the most reliable service to be found? Solid business models, sure, and no one would fault your app for trying to rise to prominence on their backs. But sometimes apps appear to take some slightly underhanded measure to help secure their market position, and that’s just what’s happening today as reports come in of WhatsApp going out of its way to keep users from spreading the word about Telegram.
Telegram, as you may already be familiar, is a cross-platform messaging app much in the spirit of WhatsApp itself. But if you’re a WhatsApp user who’s trying to tell your friend about some of the differences in Telegram that might be worth checking out, you’re going to run into a problem, as a recent update to WhatsApp for Android appears to be blocking links to Telegram.
In a revised version of WhatsApp 2.12.367 that started hitting users earlier toady, links to Telegram are no longer clickable nor able to be copied to the user’s clipboard. You can still talk about Telegram with other WhatsApp users all you like – but the app seems to be going out of its way to make turning such conversations into visits to Telegram’s website as difficult as possible.
Such link-blocking behavior is nothing new for WhatsApp parent company Facebook, but its spread to WhatsApp following last year’s $19B acquisition appears to be recent occurrence. Given the pushback already underway, it remains to be seen if WhatsApp will continue with the practice.