Meta to launch ‘Channels’ broadcasting tool for WhatsApp.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), has confirmed that it will soon introduce a new feature called Channels for its popular messaging service, WhatsApp.

Meta announced on Thursday, June 8, that the new feature, Channels, will function as a “private broadcast service”. This means that individuals and organizations can send messages and updates to their followers, which are different from the usual interpersonal communications that happen between WhatsApp users.

Channels will be a one-way broadcast tool that allows admins to send photos, texts, videos, stickers, and polls. Additionally, Channels will come with a searchable directory where users can find their interests, sports teams, updates, and more.

It’s worth noting that Channels admins won’t be able to add followers to their channels, and messages will be stored for only 30 days before being deleted automatically.

Another important thing to note is that Channels won’t have end-to-end encryption to “reach a wide audience,” said WhatsApp. However, the messaging platform added that they might bring end-to-end encrypted Channels in the future, but only for nonprofits or health organizations that need to keep their communication secure.

WhatsApp will eventually allow users to search for Channels they want to join in a searchable directory. Users will be able to access the Channels they follow through a new “Updates” tab, which will be separate from their chats with family, friends, and communities.

Meta to Debut Channels with Various Groups

WhatsApp has already started working with various groups and nonprofits, such as Colombia Check and Singapore Heart Foundation, to debut Channels. They plan to launch Channels in other parts of the world soon. In an official blog post, WhatsApp stated:

“To kick off Channels, we’re excited to work with leading global voices and select organizations in Colombia and Singapore, where Channels will first be available, to build, learn, and adapt the experience. We’ll bring Channels to more countries and the ability for anyone to create a channel over the coming months.”

In the future, WhatsApp will allow everyone to create a WhatsApp channel. Some of its other launch partners include the International Rescue Committee and the World Health Organization. Meta also said that “there is an opportunity to support admins with a way for them to build a business around their channel using our expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness”.