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. For now the url block only appears on Android devices and this applies to those who recently updated their WhatsApp app to version 2.12.367.
The current version of the app will not allow you to forward nor copy or even open a link with ‘telegram’ in the subdomain (.telegram). We did try some other links and they all seem to be working just fine except for the Telegram links. While the same was noticed by aReddit user it isn’t clear why WhatsApp has put this into practice.
The Verge did contact Telegram and this indeed turned out to be a genuine problem for users who use both messaging apps. 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. The report ends with a Telegram spokesperson commenting, “Typically after a media backlash, FB steps back and blames their intelligent filtering for the problem,”. So hopefully, Facebook has an answer before things get out of hand.
WhatsApp recently introduced rich-previews for shared links first on iOS and then onAndroid devices. A user can choose where they want the shared link to appear as a rich preview while typing the link.