Instagram has started blocking deeplinks to Telegram and Snapchat. It isn’t exactly blocking all links, just those that people will be unable to allow other to click on ‘add me’/’follow me’ links found in profile pages.
Profile deeplinks are generally used by celebrities and brands to let people know about their other social media accounts; and to make it easier for fans to follow them on other platforms. Now, all people will see if they click links to Telegram and Snapchat is an error message.
A spokesman for Instagram informed TechCrunch that the change was intentional. “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. Other types of links are still allowed.”
The statement is a little odd, considering that links to other sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Periscope all still work. Telegram founder Pavel Durov was quick to accuse Instagram of deliberately targeting his rapidly growing platform. He also points to the fact that Telegram hyperlinks are blocked on WhatsApp, which happens to be another Facebook owned company.
Telegram announced that it now has over 100 million active users, which is a significant number for a social media platform. That number is set to grow and challenge Facebook’s dominance, which is why its founder believes that Telegram is being targeted by the social media giant and its other properties.
Snapchat has not commented on the change yet, but we assume that it is not happy about what is going on.