It isn’t clear why the functions have been banned, though local reports have claimed that the move is an attempt to protect traditional telecom operators
Saudi Arabia, which had already blocked features of most chat apps, has moved to block Facebook Messenger.
The app’s video and voice chat functions, along with similar service imo, now can’t be used in the country because of “regulations”.
It isn’t clear exactly why the features have been blocked in the country. But local reports have speculated that it is a way of protecting the revenues of traditional telecoms companies.
Video and voice calling allows people to call over the internet rather than phone networks, avoiding the expense that can often come with calling outside of the country or for extended times.
Internet calling over WhatsApp and Viber were already blocked. Similar apps including Tango and Line are still available in the country.
The service had been banned because it failed to “comply with regulations”, an official told local news services. It threatened that any other app that fails to comply with those regulations will also be banned.
““Appropriate action will be taken against applications or services that do not comply with the regulations,” a spokesman at the commission told Arab News.