WhatsApp has rolled out its long-awaited feature, WhatsApp Channels, in India and across more than 150 countries, marking an innovative development in the services provided by the messaging platform.
According to its parent company, Meta Platforms, WhatsApp Channels in India will deliver a private way for people to receive updates that matter to them. Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. Channels can be found in a new tab called Updates on WhatsApp, where you’ll find status and channels you choose to follow, separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities.
The move comes as Meta makes a push to shore up engagement across its social media apps, positioning them as central destinations where content creators can engage with followers.
The wider rollout is happening months after WhatsApp Channels was launched in Colombia and Singapore in June. The Broadcast Channels feature on Instagram was simultaneously made available globally.
On WhatsApp, channels are separate from chats, and followers are not visible to each other.
Meta said users will be able to see recommended WhatsApp channels based on region and popularity. Similar to WhatsApp chat, they will also be able to use emojis to react to messages in a channel.
WhatsApp channels will be available globally in the coming weeks and months. Anyone with a WhatsApp account will be able to create a channel on the app.
The concept of channels gained popularity initially through Telegram Messenger, another instant messaging service. Telegram channels are commonly used for a variety of purposes, such as news dissemination, sharing updates from websites or blogs, promoting products or services, sharing educational content, and building communities around shared interests. They offer a convenient way to reach a large audience and share information in a structured and organized manner.
(With inputs from agencies)