WhatsApp today announced Channels, a new way to receive important updates from people and organizations, right within WhatsApp. Channels will not be part of your regular Chat tab. Instead, Channels will be available a new tab called Updates – where you’ll find Status and channels you choose to follow.
Unlike regular WhatsApp groups, Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. WhatsApp will allow you to find channels to follow, using a searchable directory. You can also open a channel using invite links.
- Phone number and profile photo of Channel admins won’t be shown to followers.
- Following a channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers.
- WhatsApp will store channel history on our servers for up to 30 days and there will be ways to make updates disappear even faster from follower’s devices.
- Admins will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.
- Admins can decide who can follow their channel and whether they want their channel to be discoverable in the directory or not.
Channels are not end-to-end encrypted by default. But WhatsApp is exploring to make end-to-end encrypted channels in the future.
Channels in WhatsApp is now available for leading global voices and select organizations in Colombia and Singapore. Channels will be available in more countries in the coming months.