Meta-owned WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature called “Channels” in more than 150 countries, starting with its launch in India.
This feature allows users to engage in one-way communication through channels, simplifying the process of sending messages to large groups, much like Instagram’s Broadcast channel.
WhatsApp places a strong emphasis on the privacy of Channels, assuring users that followers’ identities will remain confidential. Channels empower administrators to share various types of content while safeguarding user privacy.
To access Channels, users will find a dedicated tab named “Updates,” separate from personal chats. Channels can be easily discovered through searchable directories and can be filtered based on criteria such as country, activity level, popularity, or recency.
Users have the option to react to updates using emojis, and administrators can edit updates within a 30-day window before automatic deletion. WhatsApp is also developing features to prevent message clutter, and administrators will have control over who can follow their channel and its discoverability.
It’s worth noting that Channels do not feature end-to-end encryption, as they cater to a wide-ranging audience.
Here’s how to create a WhatsApp channel?
- Open WhatsApp on your phone, go to the ‘Updates’ tab.
- Click on the plus (+) sign and then on ‘New Channel’
- Click on ‘Get Started’ after which the application will give some prompts onscreen
- Finally, give your channel a name and you are done
- Click on ‘Create Channel’ and it will be up and running
- WhatsApp is also offering user a way to ‘customise’ the channel. You can do so by adding a description and icon.
WhatsApp has started rolling out the feature but it isn’t available to everyone yet. Some users flagged their concerns on X (formerly Twitter) and Head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart clarified that this will happen over the next few days.
How to download channel
According to Meta, WhatsApp Channels are found in a new tab called ‘Updates’, which will also have a list of channels you choose to follow.
The Indian cricket team, actors Katrina Kaif, Akshay Kumar, Diljit Dosanjh and Vijay Deverakonda have launched their WhatsApp Channels.
How to get a channel link
WhatsApp already have a channel feature, which allows users to join it through a link. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Channels by clicking the Channels icon
- Click your channel, and then your channel name
- Click Copy link
Features of WhatsApp channels
Enhanced directory: The channels are offered to users based on their countries. They can also view channels that are new, most active and popular based on number of followers.
Reactions: The existing feature has been extended to WhatsApp Channels as well. Users can react using emojis. How they will react will not be shown to other followers.