WhatsApp has officially unveiled its new “Channels” feature, a broadcast functionality designed to allow individuals and organisations to share important information with their followers. The feature will allow users to stay up to date with the latest developments relating to the people, teams and organisations that interest them. The feature has been beta tested since February on Android and iOS platforms, but is now ready for prime time.

What are WhatsApp Channels?

WhatsApp Channels are a simple, reliable and private way to receive important updates from people and organisations. The feature is currently limited to Colombia and Singapore, where WhatsApp already works with leading global voices and organisations. However, it will be extended to other countries in the near future.

It’s important to note that not everyone can create a WhatsApp channel at the moment. This is a privilege currently reserved for people selected by WhatsApp, but this will change in the coming months. The development team is being very careful with this version in order to prevent misinformation and misuse.

How WhatsApp Channels work

Administrators can send texts, photos, videos, stickers and polls to communicate with their followers. The profile photos and mobile numbers of the administrator and subscribers will remain hidden from each other to preserve confidentiality. Channel history will be stored on WhatsApp servers for 30 days, but administrators can also block screenshots and the forwarding of shared messages within the channel. Admins can also select who can follow their channel.

It is important to note that Channels will not be encrypted. While this guarantees greater transparency, it could also expose subscribers to confidentiality risks, and administrators will need to be vigilant about broadcasting confidential information on this platform.

All in all, WhatsApp’s new ‘Channels’ feature is a simple and reliable way to receive important updates from people and organisations. While it may pose privacy issues for some subscribers, this feature will allow WhatsApp to compete with applications such as Telegram and continue to adapt to the demands of its users.

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