Introducing WhatsApp Channels: A Private Way to Follow What Matters

October 3, 2023

Meta, WhatsApp's owner, have now opened a new feature, Channels, in the UK. Here is what Meta had to say about it:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Channels, a quick, dependable, and confidential method to get crucial updates from people and organisations directly inside WhatsApp. We're creating Channels on a brand-new tab called Updates, which will be separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities. On this tab, you'll see Status and the channels you choose to follow.

Admins can broadcast in one direction by using channels to distribute text, images, videos, stickers, and polls. We're creating a searchable directory where you can find your interests, sports teams, announcements from local leaders, and more to assist you in choosing channels to follow. A channel may also have invite links that are posted online, distributed via email, or sent in chats.

We want to create the most exclusive broadcast service possible. Admins' and followers' personal information must first be protected. Your phone number and profile picture will not be visible to followers as a channel admin. Similarly, following a channel prevents the admin or other followers from learning your phone number. It's your call and private who you choose to follow.

We don't think Channel updates need to exist forever, much like how we construct messages. In order to make changes disappear even faster from followers' devices, we'll only save channel history on our servers for up to 30 days. Additionally, administrators will be given the choice to ban screenshots and forwards from their channel.

Finally, we'll give admins the option to choose who can follow their channel and whether or not they want it to be searchable in the directory. Since reaching a large audience is the goal of channels, they are not by design end-to-end encrypted. We do believe there are some situations, such as those involving a non-profit or a health organization, where end-to-end encrypted channels to a small audience can make sense, and we are now looking into this as a potential alternative.

We also think there is a chance to aid admins by giving them a method to use our increasing payment services to create a company around their channel, as well as the possibility to advertise specific channels in the directory to raise exposure.

Private messaging between friends, family, and groups will undoubtedly remain at the core of how people use WhatsApp, therefore that will always come first. Our users have been requesting that we take a huge step to build channels for years. We believe the moment has come to offer a straightforward, dependable, and private broadcasting tool, and we hope you have pleasure in utilising it in the months and years to come.

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