WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called Channels, which allows users to gain followers on the network in the same way that Twitter does.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, introduced the new feature on Thursday via his Instagram account. What’s Channels, he claims, are not the same as users’ personal conversation.
He characterised the Channels as a private feature that enables users to follow people and organisations that are important to them. According to Zuckerberg, the feature will be available to everyone later this year, beginning with Singapore and Colombia.
The announcement by Zuckerberg
The Meta CEO, while sharing the announcement via an Instagram broadcast, said:
- “Everyone, today we’re announcing WhatsApp channels, which are going to let you privately follow people and organisations that you want to get updates from. WhatsApp channels are separate from your personal chats and they’ll show up on a new Updates tab where over time you’re going to be able to find all of the channels that you want to follow.
- “For me, this is stuff like the UFC or the Drone Racing League. This is WhatsApp. So we’re building channels to be the most private way to communicate. As a channel admin, your phone number won’t be shown to followers, and following a channel won’t show that to the admin or others following the channel either.
- “One of WhatsApp’s core principles is to not store your messages. That’s why channel updates will only be available for 30 days with no permanent record. In the future. When you create a channel you’ll have a choice whether anyone can follow you or if you want it to be hidden or approve requests.”
Zuckerberg said WhatsApp is also working on end-to-end encrypted channels for organisations or individuals that are trying to reach limited audiences.
- “We’re just getting started with channels. And I can’t wait to bring this to everyone later this year,” he added.