The latest release of WhatsApp, version 2.12.327, is now blocking outbound links to rival messaging app Telegram.me.
Spotted by several users on the Telegram Reddit and subsequently confirmed by the company itself, the latest version of WhatsApp will display a link to Telegram but not allow the user to click on it. Moreover, the user is unable to copy and paste links referencing Telegram into another app. Humorously, the code that governs the link blocking is so aggressive it also blocks links to Telegram.com, an inactive URL owned by a newspaper in the U.S.
As the Verge notes, although this is the first WhatsApp has prevented users from clicking on links that lead to a particular website or app, the practice itself is not new to the company’s owner, Facebook, which acquired the messaging app in 2014 for $16 billion. Earlier this month, the ubiquitous social network started blocking links to Tsu, a new social network that promises to share advertising revenue with users.