Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the Channels feature for WhatsApp that will allow users to easily follow other people and organisations, based on their interests. The feature will enable users to privately receive updates from those they follow.

Much like you can with an app like Twitter, it allows accounts to send one-way broadcasts to followers in the form of “text, photos, videos, stickers and polls.” Broadcasting accounts can decide who’s allowed to follow their channel, whether they want it to be discoverable and more.

WhatsApp Introduces Channels

“Today we’re excited to introduce Channels: a simple, reliable, and private way to receive important updates from people and organizations, right within WhatsApp. We’re building Channels in a new tab called Updates – where you’ll find Status and channels you choose to follow – separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities,” WhatsApp announced in a blog post.

Channels, according to the firm, are a “one-way broadcast tool for admins” that enable users to send content in any form, including text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. Additionally, WhatsApp is creating a separate directory where users may search for Channels based on their preferences. They can find channels that cater to their hobbies, their favorite sports teams, local authority updates, and more.

However, there are more options besides searching through the directory to sign up for a channel. Users may obtain a channel by inviting links that are posted online, received via email, or sent in chats.

WhatsApp considered users’ privacy concerns when developing this new function. People might worry about their phone numbers after all.

After all, people might be concerned that other subscribers to the same channel will be able to access their phone numbers.

Users can follow people and organizations through channels, which enables them to get updates from them. WhatsApp described it as a “private broadcast service”; for example, a travel-related account might post a message informing all of its followers of delays.

“Similar to how we build messaging, we don’t believe Channel updates should have to stick around forever. So we’ll only store channel history on our servers for up to 30 days and we’ll add ways to make updates disappear even faster from follower’s devices. Admins will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.”

The company also stated that admins will have the ability to decide who follows their channel and who does not. Additionally, customers will be able to decide whether or not they want their channel to be searchable in the directory.

However, as “the aim of Channels is to reach a wide audience,” there is currently no end-to-end encryption for channels by default.

“We do think there are some cases where end-to-end encrypted channels to a limited audience might make sense, such as a non-profit or health organization, and we’re exploring this as a future option as well,” the company notes.

Availability and how to use

The Channels feature will initially launch in Colombia and Singapore before expanding to more countries in the upcoming months. Admins will be able to use the capability to send broadcast messages, as was already mentioned above. Their audience will also be beyond their control. Users can easily find their favorite channel in a directory and follow  it to get regular updates. A channel invite link can be posted online, forwarded through email, or conveyed over chats to users to invite them to the channel.


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