In a significant move, WhatsApp has announced the expansion of its highly-anticipated Channels feature to users in more than 150 countries in the coming weeks. This development comes on the heels of its initial rollout, first introduced by Meta (WhatsApp’s parent company) in June, which is poised to reshape the landscape of broadcasted messages on the popular messaging platform.
The unveiling of Channels by Mark Zuckerberg himself on his own WhatsApp channel marks a pivotal moment for the app, underlining the feature’s commitment to privacy and its potential to revolutionize communication. Channels initially made its debut in Colombia and Singapore before extending its reach to seven additional countries in July.
Channels, at its core, offers users a dedicated tab within the app, where they can effortlessly follow individuals and organizations, all while preserving their personal privacy. Notably, sensitive information like phone numbers remains concealed from both administrators and followers, reinforcing WhatsApp’s commitment to safeguarding user data.
With this global expansion, WhatsApp is set to bolster its directory system, making it easier for users to discover channels tailored to their specific region or interest. The directory will provide convenient sorting options, including ‘new,’ ‘most active,’ and ‘most popular’ channels. Whenever users share updates from a channel, the message will include a handy link back to the originating channel, streamlining navigation.
Another significant enhancement comes in the form of message editing capabilities. Administrators of channels will have the ability to edit messages for up to 30 days, offering more control and flexibility over their content. Regular users, on the other hand, can edit messages sent to individuals or groups within a 15-minute window.
It’s worth noting that, currently, only select individuals and organizations have the privilege to create channels. However, Meta’s long-term vision includes opening up this feature to a broader audience, potentially allowing anyone to harness the power of Channels. As part of the global launch, notable channels that have joined the platform include renowned figures and organizations such as Olivia Rodrigo, David Guetta, Billboard, MLB, and even Mark Zuckerberg himself.
WhatsApp’s Channels feature is a testament to the platform’s commitment to catering to diverse group sizes and communication needs. It builds on the success of previous innovations like Communities, introduced last year, and the recent feature that permits users to create unnamed groups with a maximum of six participants. As WhatsApp continues to evolve and expand its offerings, users can anticipate a more dynamic and personalized messaging experience on the horizon.
- Open WhatsApp on your phone, and go to the Updates tab.
- Tap the + sign and select New channel.
- Tap Get Started and continue through the onscreen prompts.
- Add a channel name to finish creating your channel. You can choose to change the name again at any time.
- Customize your channel: You can choose to customize your channel now by adding a description and icon or do it later.
- Add a channel description: Write a few words to help potential followers understand what your channel is about.
- Add a channel icon: Add an image from your phone or the web to stand out.
- Tap Create channel, and you’re done!
Shadrack Biwot: Digital marketer & Founder of Sedi. Pioneering digital strategies since ’21. Passion for tech, transforming businesses. #SediFounder