Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


WhatsApp Channels to turn on broadcasts for creators and organisations – [VIDEO]

Meta described Channels as 'a simple, reliable, and private way to receive important updates right within WhatsApp'.


Meta-owned WhatsApp has introduced a new feature on the social platform that will let users send one-to-many broadcasts through the new “Updates” tab.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the vision for Channels which he said was “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.

Watch the introduction to WhatsApp Channels.

What is Channels?

Channels, which effectively acts like a Twitter social media feed without the metrics and comments, could prove helpful for governments, agencies, brands and other entities looking for a new platform (non-Twitter) to share updates.

“Channels are a 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 said.

ALSO READ: You can now use WhatsApp on multiple devices using one account

Privacy

WhatsApp said privacy is a key part of the experience.

“We’ll make it possible for admins to 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,” it said.

Rollout

To kick off Channels, WhatsApp said it will be working with leading global voices and select organizations in Colombia and Singapore, where Channels will first be available, to build, learn, and adapt the experience.

“We’ll bring Channels to more countries and the ability for anyone to create a channel over the coming months,” WhatsApp said.

ALSO READ: HUAWEI P60 Pro: DXOMARK’s No.1 smartphone Camera

Read more on these topics

Meta (Facebook) Social Media technology WhatsApp

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits