WhatsApp Channels are being rolled out globally with the goal of building the most private broadcast service available.
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 (which was formerly called Status) on WhatsApp — where you’ll now find Status and Channels you choose to follow — separate from your chats, and communities. The updates shared in the Channels will be kept on the Meta servers for up to 30 days after which they will be deleted.
“We don’t believe Channel updates should have to stick around forever. So, we’ll only store channel history on our servers for up to 30 days,” Meta said in its blog post.
Channels have been built keeping privacy in mind. Therefore, following a Channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private. Admins will decide who can follow their Channel and whether they want their Channel to be discoverable in the directory or not.
The key features that come with WhatsApp Channels include;
- Enhanced Directory: You can now find channels to follow that are automatically filtered based on your country. You can also view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on the number of followers.
- Reactions: You can react using emojis to give feedback and see a count of total reactions. How you react will not be shown to followers.
- Editing: Admins will be able to make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days when we automatically delete them from our servers.
- Forwarding: Whenever you forward an Update to chats or groups it will include a link back to the channel so people can find out more.
How to create a WhatsApp Channel via the app
- Open WhatsApp on your phone, and go to the ‘Updates’ tab.
- Click on the plus (+) sign and then on ‘New Channel’
- Click on ‘Get Started’ after which the application will give some prompts onscreen
- Finally, give your channel a name and you are done
- Click on ‘Create Channel’ and it will be up and running
- WhatsApp is also offering users a way to ‘customize’ the channel. You can do so by adding a description and icon.
How to create a WhatsApp Channel via the web
- Open WhatsApp web and click the Channels icon.
- Select “Create Channel,” proceed by clicking “Continue” and follow the onscreen instructions.
- Provide a Channel name, you can add a description and icon.
- Select Create Channel.
Creating a WhatsApp Channel is still limited. However, the social messaging platform says over the coming months, they’ll make it possible for anyone to create a Channel.