With Channels, admins can send one-way broadcasts to their followers, including text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls Image Credit: Meta


  • Privacy Protected: Phone number and profile photo of Channel admins won’t be shown to followers.
  • Safeguard Your Privacy: Following a Channel doesn't disclose your phone number to admin or followers
  • Enhanced Data Control: WhatsApp safely stores Channel history for 30 days, with faster disappearing updates for followers' devices
  • Empowering Admins: WhatsApp offers Channel admins the ability to block screenshots and forwards
  • Take Control: WhatsApp gives Channel owners authority over followers and discoverability

Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has announced the introduction of Channels, a new feature that the social media giant said would help make the app a "private broadcast messaging product.”

The company said that it is building Channels in a new tab called Updates, where users will find Status and channels they choose to follow -- separate from their chats with family, friends and communities. The company said users will be able to follow content on their hobbies, sports teams, updates from local officials and others.

Profile photos and contact information of the channel admin would not be visible to followers. Similarly, followers will not have their phone numbers revealed.

What is 'WhatsApp Channels'

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. To help you select channels to follow, the company says it is building a searchable directory where you can find your hobbies, sports teams, updates from local officials, and more. Users can also get to a channel from invite links sent in chats, e-mails or posted online.

Guardrail for privacy and safety

The ‘Channels’ feature comes with most private broadcast service available. This starts by protecting the personal information of both admins and followers. As a channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won't be shown to followers. Likewise, following a channel won't reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it's private.

To protect the personal information of both admins and followers, the company said that as a channel admin, their phone number and profile photo won't be shown to followers, likewise, following a channel won't reveal their phone number to the admin or other followers.

30-day expiry

According to WhatsApp, privacy is an important component of the experience, which is why channel admins' information isn't shared and the app only saves 30 days of a channel's history. Admins can even prevent screenshots and forwarding, ensuring that what is in the channel remains in the channel.

What's new on WhatsApp?

Not end-to-end encrypted by default

Channels will not be end-to-end encrypted by default as the aim of Channels is to reach a wide audience. "We do think there are some cases where end-to-end encrypted channels to a limited audience might make sense, such as a non-profit or health organisation, and we are exploring this as a future option as well," WhatsApp said. However, WhatsApp has stated that it is considering ways to encrypt some channels in the future.

Channels supports payment services

With this feature, the company believes there is an opportunity to support admins with a way for them to build a business around their channel using their expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness.

Channels availability

The company intends to establish channels with leading global voices and select organizations in Colombia and Singapore, where Channels will first be available, to build, learn, and adapt the experience. Over the coming months, Meta will expand the availability of the tool for users in more countries, it said.

You can now edit your messages on WhatsApp for up to 15 minutes after they’ve been sent. Image Credit: Meta

New features

WhatsApp is gradually evolving into more than just a messaging software. Just in the last few months, the company has made it possible to use one account on multiple phones, has been working on a private newsletter tool and a new usernames system, has added polls, shopping, and a slew of other Facebook-y things to the platform, has revamped its Status system, improved its group chats, and much more. Channels is simply the latest attempt by WhatsApp to integrate social media into chat.

Channels, like most WhatsApp innovations, is starting small. WhatsApp is certainly still primarily a messaging service - billions of people use it to communicate with friends and family. However, as it seeks to expand, generate more money, and become the all-encompassing super app it desires, it is attempting to be much more than that.