WhatsApp has announced the global expansion of its Channels feature to more than 150 countries. First tested in Colombia and Singapore, and later in seven additional countries, the feature promises a "new private way to get updates from people and organizations you follow," according to Mark Zuckerberg.
One of the key selling points of WhatsApp Channels is privacy. The channels you follow will not be visible to others, and your personal information, like your phone number, will remain hidden from admins and followers.
WhatsApp is stepping up its game by adding interactive elements like the ability to react to messages with emojis. Users can see a count of reactions under each message, adding a layer of interactivity to broadcasted content.
WhatsApp has updated its directory to help users find channels based on their country, with sorting options for the newest, most active, and most popular channels.
Channel admins now have the ability to edit messages up to 30 days after posting. This is a significant improvement over the 15-minute editing window for individual or group messages.
The global launch of Channels on WhatsApp aligns with Meta's strategy to enhance one-to-many communications. The company also rolled out a similar feature on Instagram, aiming to connect creators with their fans.
As of now, only select individuals or organizations can create channels. Meta plans to open this up to everyone eventually.
The launch includes channels from Olivia Rodrigo, David Guetta, Billboard, MLB, and of course, Mark Zuckerberg himself. While the exact number isn't disclosed, WhatsApp states there are "thousands" of channels.
WhatsApp Channels is set to become a powerful tool for one-to-many communication. As the platform works to add more features and improve its existing ones, it could become an invaluable resource for both individual users and organizations.