WhatsApp has been adding a flurry of new features over the past couple of years. After adding easy data transfer between Android and iOS, the company announced the message editing feature and is working on an option to share your phone’s screen with others. Now, the company has announced a new feature called WhatsApp Channels, much like Telegram’s Groups.
WhatsApp Channels are a one-way broadcast method that lets users follow updates from people and brands they like
WhatsApp Channel is a simple and private way to follow people, brands, and communities. You can follow all the updates from people and brands, which will be visible in the ‘Updates’ tab. This keeps those updates separate from messages and groups of your family members and friends. It’s a one-way broadcast tool, so you can only receive updates and can’t post updates in Channels.
The instant messaging company said it is creating a searchable directory where you can find people and brands that you want to follow, including businesses, hobbies, local officials, and sports teams. You can also join Channels through email invites posted in chats, emails, and other places.
To keep things secure, channel admins and followers’ email and phone numbers won’t be visible to anyone. Channel history will be stored on WhatsApp’s servers for up to 30 days. There is a feature to let updates disappear automatically after a certain period. Admins can even block screenshots and forwards from their channels.
WhatsApp Channels are coming to Colombia and Singapore first
WhatsApp Channel admins can also decide who can follow their channels. Currently, channel updates are not end-to-end encrypted, but the company is working on that feature. Admins can also choose whether or not their channel should be searchable. This feature is rolling out first in Colombia and Singapore, and brands can create channels.
The company is allowing people to create and support businesses through this feature. In the future, it will allow anyone to create a WhatsApp Channel. WhatsApp Pay is supported in Channels, and Channels can also be promoted in the directory.