Meta chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday launched WhatsApp Channels in India and over 150 countries. In a Facebook post, Mr Zuckerberg said, “Today we’re starting to roll out WhatsApp Channels globally and adding thousands of new channels that people can follow in WhatsApp. You can find Channels in the new ‘Updates’ tab.” WhatsApp Channels are a one-way broadcast tool and deliver a private way to receive updates from people and organisations that matter to you, right within WhatsApp.
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.
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.
Editing: This feature will soon be available to admins. They will be able to make changes to their updates for up to 30 days, after which WhatsApp automatically deletes messages form its servers.
Forwarding: Whenever users forward an Update to chats or groups it will include a link back to the channel so people can find out more.
How WhatsApp Channels handle privacy
The company’s feature allows users to follow channels without sharing their phone numbers to any new people who are not in your contact.