Promoting yourself across multiple social media platforms is nothing out of the ordinary. We all do it because we want people to see what we’re posting, tweeting, and sharing throughout the day. Mentioning your presence on other services is very common, and it’s a simple way to grow your digital brand. Just don’t think about doing so on Instagram. The photo- and video-sharing service doesn’t want its users to promoting their profiles on “another service” anymore.
Not even Telegram’s founder is immune
Instagram is shutting down the use of terms that push users to add someone anywhere else. Feel like testing Instagram’s patience? Go ahead. The service will greet you with an error message that reads “Links asking someone to add you on another service aren’t supported on Instagram.” However, directing users to a specific website — one that doesn’t belong to an Instagram competitor — is still allowed. The entire point of this is to keep users away from acknowledging other services while on Instagram.
An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch the following:
“We’ve removed the ability to include ‘add me’ links to 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 discovery was actually given spotlight by Telegram and its founder, Pavel Durov.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) March 2, 2016
Telegram and Durov believe Instagram is doing this as a silent response to Telegram’s 100 million users encouraging their followers to join them on Telegram Channels around the world. Telegram has a very active user base, similar to Snapchat’s, and the Facebook-owned service could feel threatened. Facebook has its own messaging platform in Facebook Messenger, but Telegram seems to be just as popular if not ahead already.
What else does Telegram have? An in-app photo editor. Around 35 million photos are shared on Telegram daily while Instagram’s users post 70 million photos in a 24-hour span. It does seem as if Telegram is slowly but surely catching up to Instagram in that regard. Telegram is cutting out any need for Facebook Messenger and Instagram with a single service, something Facebook definitely doesn’t want happening. That could explain why you’re no longer allowed to reference competitors on your Instagram profile.