Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Meta, announced WhatsApp Channels on Thursday, a one-way broadcast tool for administrators to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls.
WhatsApp Channels will be available for the first time in Colombia and Singapore. Over the next few months, it will be made available in more countries, including India.
WhatsApp Channels, according to Zuckerberg, is a simple, dependable, and private way to receive important updates from people and organizations directly within WhatsApp.
In explaining how it would work, Zuckerberg stated that Channels would be available on WhatsApp in a new tab called Updates. It’s where you’ll find your status updates and the channels you choose to follow, separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities, IANS reported from SanFrancisco.
WhatsApp is creating a searchable directory where users can find Channels related to their hobbies, sports teams, local government updates, and more. Channel administrators can invite people to follow by sending invite links in chats, e-mails, or posting them online.
According to Zuckerberg, personal information such as a channel admin’s phone number will not be shown to followers, and following a channel will not reveal that information to the admin or others following the channel. There will be no permanent record of channel updates after 30 days.
The company stated that it would add more methods in the future to make updates disappear faster from the devices of followers. Administrators will be able to prevent screenshots and forwards from entering their channels.
The channels will not be end-to-end encrypted by default, but the company stated that end-to-end encrypted channels to a limited number of followers may be available in the future.
Meta added that it will be up to the admins to decide who can subscribe to their channel and whether or not they want their channel to be discoverable in the directory.
In the future, these channels may include a payment service. The company can also promote certain channels on the app.