It looks like WhatsApp begins to start a “blocking war” against its competitor, Telegram.
The messaging giant WhatsApp is apparently blocking links containing the word “telegram,” which happens to be the name of a competing messenger service, “Telegram”. The issue only appears on WhatsApp’s Android app and not the iOS app. While Telegram is a competitor to WhatsApp, the former is dwarfed by the latter. In May, Telegram claimed 62 million monthly active users, while WhatsApp claimed 900 million monthly active users in September.
Though not nearly as big as WhatsApp, Telegram has a large user base and previously attracted millions of users when WhatsApp experienced a major service outage. Though both apps offer similar messaging features, Telegram claims its service is more secure. Telegram also offers public channels, which have come under some scrutiny in recent weeks. The app blocked 78 ISIS-related channels last month.
Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov noted in a tweet that roughly 80% of its users are on Android, providing a possible explanation as to why WhatsApp would only block links on that platform.
This blocking decision follows a similar move by WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, which recently blocked links to Tsu.co, a social network that pays its users a percentage of ad revenue every time they post. Facebook accused Tsu.co of encouraging “spammy sharing,” hence why it blocked links. Links were blocked on Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram, though not on WhatsApp.