Messaging apps proliferate the masses in Iran

Published May 16th, 2023 - 10:37 GMT

Ban on WhatsApp, Instagram apps in Iran drove millions to other apps

ALBWABA – Iranians are turning to local messaging applications (apps), such as Eitaa and Robeca, to stay connected to social networks, AFP reported Tuesday.

Iranian authorities imposed strict restrictions on internet usage and blocked many apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

The authorities blocked these apps after the outbreak of protests following the killing of Iranian activist Mahsa Amini last September in the custody of Iran's morality police over wearing hijab "improperly".

Meanwhile, tens of millions of users in Iran were cut off from their social media networks indefinitely, according to the French news agency.

Figures released recently by Communications Minister Isa Zarepour indicated that nearly 89 million people in Iran use at least one of the four main messaging apps in Iran.

These apps include Eitaa, Robeca, Soroush and Bella.

To access foreign apps, people use virtual private network (VPN) tools, which sometimes allow them to mask their addresses. But it is not entirely reliable, the AFP story explained.

Zaripur warned that WhatsApp and Instagram won't resume work in Iran unless they have a legal representative in the country.

Messaging apps proliferate the masses in Iran
The parent company of Iran-blocked WhatsApp and Instagram, Meta, will not open an office in Iran - Source: Shutterstock

He himself does not seem to have an account on any of the foreign platforms, AFP underlined.

Meta, on the other hand, the parent company of both Instagram and WhatsApp, reaffirmed that they have no plan to set up shop in Iran.

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