Instagram has removed the linking feature for Telegram and Snapchat profiles, while the feature works for other social media sites. Following this, users of Instagram would not be able to deep-link to Telegram and Snapchat, (a feature that takes the user outside the base app to other third-party social media apps). The feature, "add me" or "follow me" is shown on the profile page of the Instagram user.
However, the feature works well for all other links to blogs, posts, pictures and videos on other social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit and more.
"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 confirmed to Tech Crunch.
The new change was first highlighted by Telegram chief Pavel Durov, who tweeted:
Although it is not known how many Instagram users used this feature to switch to Telegram or Snapchat, the move is supposed to keep Instagram users from moving away from the platform to rival apps.
Another reason cited is the rising number of Telegram and Snapchat users. Facebook-owned Instagram claims to have reached 400 million monthly active users while Telegram has roughly 100 million monthly active users. Snapchat does not share data, but it claimed to have more than 100 million users in its core markets. "From their side, they might've noticed more and more Instagram users setting links to their Telegram accounts and channels in the website section of Instagram", Durov told Tech Crunch.
In 2015, another Facebook property, WhatsApp had blocked the deep linking feature for Telegram. According to Durov, it is still blocked on WhatsApp for Android app.