BrandArena: WhatsApp expands Channels to over 150 countries

Thursday 14 September 2023

WhatsApp expands Channels to over 150 countries

WhatsApp announced the introduction of its new Channels feature in over 150 countries today via its official blog, as well as the inclusion of thousands of new channels. WhatsApp Channels have been in development since earlier this year, with the goal of providing users with a private channel to receive information from organisations, sports teams, artists, and famous personalities.

Channels differ from regular chats on WhatsApp in that they are separate and anybody you choose to follow is not visible to others, thus its emphasis on privacy. WhatsApp users can browse through many channels and choose to follow those that interest them.

Meta worked to implement the following modifications to the Channels feature just in time for the global release based on input from those who were privy to using it in one of the ten countries where it was originally being tested. The new update include:

  • An enhanced directory that makes it easier to find channels to follow, filtered by country.
  • Reactions, so you can give feedback on Updates using emojis.
  • Editing, so admins can make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days.
  • Forwarding, so you can share Updates with others and they can easily find the channel.

WhatsApp also assured that new features will be added as the Channels feature grows and evolves, with these features being directly based on user feedback. One of these will be the opportunity for anyone to create a channel, similar to how Instagram's comparable function already operates.

The WhatsApp Channels distribution appears to be in the early stages in the most recent version of the app. Channels that you can follow will be visible in the new "Updates" tab, including the official WhatsApp Channel, which you can follow to remain up to date on any new app additions.

However, if you still don't have the feature and don't want to keep checking to see when it's available for your account, you can click on the WhatsApp Channel link — or any channel link — and you should get a popup within the app with an option to be notified when it's ready.

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