WhatsApp Channels, a new feature from Meta’s messaging service, is now available to users in Pakistan and other countries. These channels let you share updates with many people on WhatsApp in a one-way broadcast.
Currently, users can use a directory to find channels made by their favorite content creators, businesses, or celebrities. Members of these channels can also react to messages sent by the channel owner.
On Wednesday, the messaging service owned by Meta revealed that WhatsApp Channels is being introduced to users in 150 countries, including Pakistan. This feature, which had been observed in development earlier this year, is expected to be accessible to all users in the upcoming weeks.
Meta Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his own channel, and users can join the official WhatsApp Channel to get updates about the platform. Instagram already supports a similar feature, and rival platform Telegram also allows users to join one-way broadcast channels.
WhatsApp Channels can be found in a new tab called “Updates” on both iOS and Android smartphones. This tab will contain both WhatsApp Status messages and the newly introduced WhatsApp Channels. Users will also have access to an improved directory that filters channels based on their location and showcases popular channels sorted by follower count, activity level, and new arrivals on WhatsApp.
Users can join WhatsApp Channels using a valid invite link. To safeguard user privacy, the app will not reveal the phone number of the channel creator. Members won’t be able to view the list of others who have joined the channel, and their phone numbers will stay hidden from the channel owner as well.
WhatsApp Channels will display messages for 30 days, as stated by the company. Channel members can react to the shared messages but cannot directly respond to them.
It’s important to note that messages broadcasted in a channel do not have the same end-to-end encryption protection as other forms of communication, such as direct messages, group chats, calls, status messages, and attachments. These other forms of communication will continue to be safeguarded by end-to-end encryption.
To promote and boost engagement with the new WhatsApp Channels feature, Meta has partnered up with the Indian Cricket Team and popular celebrities such as Diljit Dosanjh, Neha Kakkar, and Katrina Kaif, all of whom have established their channels on the app. WhatsApp has also announced plans to enable all users to create a channel in the upcoming months.