WhatsApp has just made a major announcement that’s set to revolutionize the way you receive updates from your favorite people and organizations. The company is expanding its Channels feature, which is designed for broadcasted messages, and it’s rolling out to users in more than 150 countries over the coming weeks.
Mark Zuckerberg himself revealed this exciting development on his brand-new WhatsApp channel. He expressed his enthusiasm for WhatsApp Channels, describing it as a “new private way for you to get updates from people and organizations you follow.” He also mentioned that he would be using his channel to share Meta news and updates.
The journey to global availability for Channels began back in June when Meta initially introduced this feature to users in Colombia and Singapore. In July, they expanded its reach to seven more countries. Now, with this global launch, WhatsApp users around the world can enjoy the benefits of Channels.
Channels are neatly organized within a separate tab in the app, ensuring your privacy as others won’t be able to see which channels you follow. Moreover, your personal information, such as your phone number, remains hidden from both channel admins and followers.
While the primary purpose of a channel remains one-to-many communication through broadcast messages, WhatsApp is introducing new ways to interact. Users will soon have the ability to react to messages with emojis, and the total count of reactions will be visible under each message.
The global launch comes with an improved directory that allows users to discover channels based on their country. You can sort this list by criteria such as new, most active, and most popular. When you forward an update from a channel to a group or an individual, it will include a convenient link back to the original channel.
For channel admins, WhatsApp is introducing the ability to edit a message for up to 30 days. This feature will also extend to individual and group messages, although with a 15-minute editing window.
It’s worth noting that Meta is initially limiting the ability to create a channel to select individuals and organizations. However, the company has plans to eventually open up channel creation to everyone.
With this global launch, WhatsApp is also welcoming a host of notable additions to its Channels feature. These include famous names like Olivia Rodrigo, David Guetta, Billboard, MLB, and, of course, Mark Zuckerberg himself. Although WhatsApp hasn’t disclosed the exact number of channels available on the platform, they did reveal that there are now “thousands” of them. WhatsApp even has its own channel for sharing updates about the app’s features.
This expansion of Channels isn’t the only move Meta has made in the realm of one-to-many communication. Back in June, they introduced the Channels feature on Instagram, aiming to connect creators with their fans through a similar communication channel.
Over the past year, WhatsApp has been experimenting with various features tailored to different group sizes. Last November, they launched Communities, facilitating multigroup communication for places like schools, residential complexes, or clubs. Last month, they introduced a feature that allows you to create groups without naming them, with a cap of six people.
WhatsApp’s global rollout of Channels is set to transform how users connect with their favorite creators, organizations, and individuals, making it easier than ever to stay informed and engaged in the digital world.