Instagram is taking a major shot at its competitor Snapchat by no longer allowing users to promote their accounts to the rival app through its platform.
The Facebook-owned photo app is now blocking users from being able to include "add me/ follow me" links in the website section on their profile that redirect users to their account on the popular video app Snapchat or the messaging app Telegram.
This change was first spotted by Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, who discovered that he could no longer add a link to his profile on Instagram.
"Links asking someone to add you on another service aren't supported on Instagram."
This might come to a shock to many Instagram users who use the platform to self-promote themselves, their brand or company by linking to outside accounts or websites in their profile. It's common that Instagram users include their Snapchat and Twitter handles as a way to gain more followers on these platforms.
But Instagram is having none of it anymore.
"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," an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Although Instagram blocked the ability to deep link to its social media competitor Snapchat as well as Telegram, users can still link to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as blogs, certain websites, YouTube pages and iTunes pages. This means the change won't affect celebrities who link to their main website, and instead hurts everyday users trying to gain a wider social media presence in search of Internet fame.
After trying to deep link Tech Times URLS, my Twitter and Facebook accounts and LinkedIn, I received no error messages when trying to do so. After successfully inserting the links in the website bar, each of these outside links did open on my iPhone.
However, I could no longer link to my Snapchat, making it one of the two platforms that clearly have been singled out. It remains unknown whether Instagram will block these other social media sites in the future.
Users can still share their Instagram posts to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.