WhatsApp Channels is now being rolled out in the region, including the UAE. It is a broadcast service that enables people to receive private updates from their favourite celebrities, sports teams, artists, creators, thought leaders that they can follow, right within WhatsApp.
Talking about the new feature, Moon Baz, Creator Partnerships Lead, Africa, Middle East and Turkey at Meta, said, "Today (September 13) we're starting to roll out WhatsApp Channels globally and adding thousands of new channels that people can follow in WhatsApp. We’re also welcoming some of your favourite celebrities, sports teams, artists, creators, thought leaders that people can follow, right within WhatsApp."
According to Moon Baz, Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. Users can find channels in a new tab called Updates on WhatsApp – where they will discover the status and channels they choose to follow – separate from their chats with family, friends, and communities.
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.
On the app, channels are separate from chats and followers are not visible to each other. Channel will not reveal users' phone number to the admin or other followers. Who they decide to follow is their choice and it’s private.
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. Meta will continue to add more features and expand Channels based on feedback from users.
Channel updates will not stick around forever. Meta will store channel history on their servers for up to 30 days. Admins will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.
Admins will be able to decide who can follow their channel and whether they want their channel to be discoverable in the directory or not.
Key features to get you started on Channels
Enhanced Directory: Where you can 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.
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.
WhatsApp is welcoming thousands of new partners, including Olivia Rodrigo, Netflix, David Guetta, Billboard, MLB, and more – that people can start to follow.
The Indian Cricket Team has also launched their WhatsApp Channel.
“The Indian Cricket Team is thrilled to partner with WhatsApp on the launch of Channels. We kick-off our partnership with WhatsApp with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 which is set to begin in October. We will leverage Channels to generate excitement and support as India gets ready to host the marquee event after a decade-long wait. With WhatsApp Channels, fans will be aware of important and accurate information and news around match schedules, timings, scorecards etc. Get on WhatsApp channels and never miss out on updates from on and off the field.” – BCCI
Actress Katrina Kaif, after launching her Channel, said, "I am delighted to collaborate with WhatsApp for the launch of WhatsApp Channels. This platform provides me with an exciting opportunity to connect with those who are interested in various aspects of my life, be it my work in the film industry or my ventures in the business world, all of which I am deeply passionate about. WhatsApp Channels serves as a personalized newsletter through which I can share insights and updates with my dedicated audience, fans, and all those who have consistently shown their support throughout my journey.”
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