WhatsApp, the instant messaging service owned by Meta Platforms, has unveiled WhatsApp Channels in India and more than 150 countries. WhatsApp Channels introduce a new way for users to receive private updates from organizations, sports teams, artists, and thought leaders. This feature is designed as a one-way broadcast tool within the app, emphasizing privacy and secure communication.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared his excitement about WhatsApp Channels, stating, “Excited to introduce you all to WhatsApp Channels, a new private way for you to get updates from people and organizations you follow. I’m starting this channel to share Meta news and updates. Looking forward to connecting with you all around the world.” Channels can be accessed in the new ‘Updates’ tab within the WhatsApp app.
WhatsApp’s primary objective with Channels is to create the most private broadcast service available. Channels are distinct from regular chats, and the identities of those you choose to follow remain private and are not visible to other followers. The company emphasizes its commitment to protecting the personal information of both channel admins and followers.
As Channels expand globally, WhatsApp plans to introduce an enhanced directory feature, making it easier for users to discover channels based on their country. Users can also explore new, active, and popular channels, with the latter category determined by the number of followers. Users will have the ability to express their feedback using emojis, and the total count of reactions will be visible, but individual reactions will not be displayed to followers.
Admins of WhatsApp Channels can make updates and changes for up to 30 days before they are automatically deleted from the servers. When forwarding an update to chats or groups, a link back to the original channel will be included for users to find more information.
As WhatsApp Channel gradually roll out worldwide in the next few weeks, additional features will be introduced based on user feedback. In the coming months, the platform plans to enable anyone to create their own channel.
Notable figures and entities, including the Indian cricket team and celebrities such as Katrina Kaif, Diljit Dosanjh, Akshay Kumar, Vijay Deverakonda, Neha Kakkar, and others, have already launched their WhatsApp Channels, providing users with a direct and private channel for receiving updates and information.