Until a few years ago, the term ‘instant messaging’ was synonymous with WhatsApp. And it wasn’t without a good reason. The app is credited with defining the concept of online instant messaging and popularizing it around the world, and rightly so. While WhatsApp remains the most widely-used instant messaging app worldwide, things have changed considerably in the past four-five years.
As people began realizing the monopoly of WhatsApp and its potential consequences, the need for alternatives shot up, and new, seemingly better apps emerged.
Founded in 2013- four years after the arrival of WhatsApp- Telegram started with the aim of providing better, much-needed features WhatsApp couldn’t provide yet. After eight years, Telegram is now a strong competitor to WhatsApp and an independent and rapidly-growing platform, thanks to its out-of-the-box features that make instant messaging a more interactive and secure experience.
However, greater privacy on Telegram doesn’t mean a compromise on security. The platform has several lesser-known features to protect users from potential security and privacy compromises. So, if you see the message “Sorry, you can only send messages to mutual contacts at the moment” while trying to send a message on Telegram, you are likely encountering a security measure of the app. Read on to find out what this message means and how to get rid of it.
What does “Sorry you can only send messages to mutual contacts at the moment” mean on Telegram?
If you see this message while sending messages to non-contacts on Telegram, your account has likely been restricted from messaging non-contacts. Why? Let’s start by digging deep into the root cause of the issue.
One of the oldest distinguishing features of Telegram is the option to keep your phone number private. This essentially means users can send messages to others without disclosing their contact details. In other words, anonymity.
All that remains visible is your username, which can be set and changed anytime you wish. This feature has created a set of wide-ranging applications and has given the users freedom that was not available earlier. At the same time, though, it puts Telegram under a dark cloud. Spammers, bots, and other mischievous people can easily exploit this privacy feature and put it to unscrupulous use.
To continue providing this feature while preventing its unintended use, the platform has implemented several measures that protect users from spam and promotional messages.
Returning to your original question- What does this message mean on Telegram? You see this message while trying to message non-contacts because of messaging limitations imposed on your account.
Here’s the sequence of events that would likely have led to these limitations:
- You chatted with a non-contact.
- The person didn’t like talking with you and reported your account to Telegram.
- Telegram moderators reviewed the report and found it to be valid.
- Telegram applied limitations to your account.
As a result of the limitations imposed on your account, you are temporarily restricted from messaging non-mutual contacts. As long as the limitations are in effect, you cannot:
- Message people who don’t have your number saved in their contacts.
- Add these people to any groups or channels.
But, the question remains: How to get rid of these limitations? That’s in the next section.