WhatsApp Channels Now Accessible in India: Understanding What They Are and How They Operate


WhatsApp Unveils New Feature ‘Channels’ Enabling Users to Create One-Way Broadcast Channels for Sharing Updates with Followers.

WhatsApp has officially launched its new broadcast feature called Channels in India and more than 150 other countries. Similar to Instagram’s Broadcast channel feature, Meta’s WhatsApp now allows users to engage with their connections through one-way channels, enabling the dissemination of messages to large groups of recipients.

WhatsApp emphasizes that Channels operate independently of regular chats, ensuring that the identities of followers remain confidential to others. Channels serve as a unidirectional broadcasting tool, permitting administrators to share text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls while safeguarding the privacy of both administrators and followers.

“We’re excited to share the news that we’re launching WhatsApp Channels in India and over 150 countries. WhatsApp Channels are a one-way broadcast tool and deliver a private way to receive updates from people and organizations that matter to you, right within WhatsApp,” notes WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Introduces a New Tab for Channels WhatsApp is introducing its new Channels feature in a dedicated tab called “Updates.” Here, users can access Status updates and the channels they choose to follow, keeping them separate from their conversations with family, friends, and communities. Additionally, users can access channels through invitation links shared in chats, emails, or posted online.

As the feature expands globally, WhatsApp is introducing new updates to enhance functionality and user experience:

  1. Enhanced Directory: Users can now discover channels through a searchable directory that is automatically filtered by country. Users can also browse channels based on their activity level, popularity, or newness.
  2. Reactions: Similar to Instagram broadcast channels, users can react to updates in WhatsApp Channels using emojis. The total number of reactions will be displayed, but individual admin reactions will not be visible to followers.
  3. Editing: Admins will soon have the ability to edit their updates for up to 30 days before automatic deletion from WhatsApp’s servers.
  4. Forwarding: When admins forward an update to chats or groups, it will include a link back to the channel for easy access to more information.

WhatsApp will retain channel history on its servers for a maximum of 30 days to prevent message accumulation in channels. The company is also working on features to make updates disappear even more quickly from followers’ devices. Administrators will also have the option to prevent screenshots and forwards within their channels.Administrators will have control over who can follow their channel and whether it should be discoverable in the directory. It’s important to note that channels are not end-to-end encrypted by default, as their primary purpose is to reach a wide audience.

WhatsApp acknowledges that there may be cases where end-to-end encrypted channels for a limited audience, such as nonprofit organisations or health institutions, could be beneficial. The company is considering this as a potential future option.

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