New Delhi: WhatsApp has rolled out ‘Channels’ feature that will work as a simple, reliable, and private way to receive important updates from people and organizations, right within WhatsApp. The company is bringing Channels in a new tab called Updates – where you will find Status and channels you choose to follow – separate from you chats with family, friends, and communities.
Channels will be one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls.
“To help you select channels to follow, we’re building a searchable directory where you can find your hobbies, sports teams, updates from local officials, and more. You can also get to a channel from invite links sent in chats, e-mail, or posted online,” WhatsApp blog added.
Private Broadcast Service
As a Channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers. Similarly, following a channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. It will be private.
Moreover, Channel updates won’t remain permanent. Channel History will be stored on the company’s servers for up to 30 days and will work to 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.
Admins will decide who can follow their channel and whether they want their channel to be discoverable in the directory or not.
“Given the aim of Channels is to reach a wide audience, channels are not end-to-end encrypted 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 blog added.
Feature Will Expand Soon
The company is excited to start the Channels feature with leading global voices and select organisation in Colombia and Singapore, where Channels will first be available, to build, learn, and adapt. The company will expand Channels to more countries and the ability for anyone to create a channel over the coming months.
“We also believe there is an opportunity to support admins with a way for them to build a business around their channel using our expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness,” the blog added.