WhatsApp launches Channels feature globally

By Muhammad JuniadPublished On 15 Sep 2023

While WhatsApp first introduced Channels feature in June, it was only available to select organisations in Colombia and Singapore.

Just like on the messaging app Telegram, WhatsApp’s Channels feature lets you receive updates from creators, organisations, and brands from a single channel.

Instagram rolled out a similar feature earlier this year called broadcast channels.

The company rolled out Channels in a new tab called Updates – where you’ll find Status and channels you choose to follow – separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities.

Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls.

You can also now use emoji to react to posts within channels. Meanwhile, the admins who run channels will now be able to edit their updates for up to 30 days before the platform deletes the post from its servers.

The messaging app is also welcoming “thousands” of new channels to the platform, including those run by Olivia Rodrigo, the MLB, and Mark Zuckerberg.

WhatsApp says it will continue to add more features to Channels as it receives feedback from users. The platform also notes that it will make it possible for anyone to create a channel “over the coming months.”

If you don’t see the Channels feature on your app just yet, WhatsApp notes that you can join its waitlist on mobile to get notified when it’s available.

Key Features on WhatsApp 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.

Over the last year, WhatsApp has experimented with features catering to different sizes of groups. Last November, the company launched Communities to facilitate multigroup communication for places like schools, resident complexes or clubs.