Meta today announced that it is adding Channels to WhatsApp, a new tool that lets accounts share one-way updates with their followers.
The feature, which is similar to channels on Telegram, allows accounts to share text, photos, videos, stickers and polls with their followers, who can view them in a separate new tab called Updates.
WhatsApp will build a “searchable directory” where users would be able to find channels to follow by searching for hobbies, sports teams, weather, traffic updates and other keywords. Users would also be able to join channels via invite links, similar to groups on Discord.
Further, WhatsApp says that its channels would be highly private. “As a channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers. Likewise, following a channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private,” reads WhatsApp’s blog post. Channel histories would also only be maintained for 30 days, while admins will have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.
To use Channels, you need to have the latest version of WhatsApp installed on your phone. You can find Channels in a new Updates tab, where you can also see Status updates from your contacts.
Channels are not widely available yet. WhatsApp is rolling it out gradually, starting with “leading global voices and select organizations in Columbia and Singapore.” It plans to expand it to more countries and users in the coming months.
Read more about it here.
Image credit: WhatsApp