(Mirror Daily, United States) – After a silent new update, WhatsApp has stopped links for rival Telegram, another messaging app that is slowly growing in popularity. It seems that now, no links for websites, be it ending with .org or .me will be hyperlinked when written down in WhatsApp.
This means that users who receive such a link will have to manually copy and paste it into their browsers. It may not seem like much, but the extra step is likely to discourage many from actually accessing the site for the rival app. All other links seem to be working just fine, and normal as they should.
The issue has also been said to affect only Android device, who have installed the latest 2.12.367 version. However, it has been suggested that the same will be happening with iOS running smartphones as well soon. It’s unclear why the popular messaging service has taken this step. Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, has been known to block sites, such as The Pirate Bay, who is the source of illegal torrent downloads.
Telegram, on the other hand, is a free messaging service that has been praised for its security, yet has seen some problems lately. Reports of metadata leaks and suggestions that the terrorists behind the Paris attacks might’ve been using their free services. It’s not yet clear if it’s a matter of practicality, caution, or just plain rivalry on WhatsApp’s part as of yet.
Following a number of outages on WhatsApp’s part, Telegram has grown in popularity due to its stability. A new update for the service has also seen to better abilities of handling group discussions, raising the bar to around 200 users at the same time and allowing for designated admins to manage them. Telegram also has entertaining stickers, as an alternative to classic emojis.
Also, while WhatsApp offers one free year of their services, they will start charging after that time period. Their subscription costs $0.99 per year. While that won’t be draining anyone’s bank account, it’s still more than Telegram, which is entirely free.
It should also be noted that WhatsApp appears to extend a user’s free subscription period when the Android device detects that they’ve installed Telegram as well.
And yet, WhatsApp is still in the lead for now, with a whopping 900 million monthly active users, in comparison to Telegram’s 65 million monthly active users. The stark difference should be enough to keep the Facebook-owned messaging app at rest. That’s why it’s questionable that they would block their users from clicking a link that would send them to their rivals.
A Telegram spokesperson only commented that they expect Facebook to blame their “intelligent filtering for the problem” after media backlash.
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