Meta-owned WhatsApp has finally started to roll out its new Telegram-like Channels features globally. WhatsApp Channels, a feature that has been available for a new months now, was only available to some users in select countries. However, Meta’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp channels have been launched in over 150 countries.
“Today we’re starting to roll out WhatsApp Channels globally and adding thousands of new channels that people can follow in WhatsApp. You can find Channels in the new ‘Updates’ tab.” he wrote on Facebook.
WhatsApp Channels feature is a one-way broadcast tool that allows users to receive updates from people and brands / organizations that matter to them, right within the WhatsApp application.
The feature should not be confused with the Broadcast Lists in WhatsApp that have existed for a long time. That feature allows you to send messages separately to everyone on your list, while channels give you the space that can be publicly followed by millions of people.
However, it should be noted that while WhatsApp Channels have begun rolling out, they aren’t available to everyone yet. Where Channels are available, WhatsApp is rolling out new features gradually, like being able to create your own Channel.
How to Create a WhatsApp Channel?
- Open WhatsApp on your phone, and go to the Updates tab.
- Tap (+) and select New channel.
- Tap Get started and continue through the onscreen prompts.
- Finally, add a channel name and finish creating your channel.
- You can choose to customize your channel or do it later.
- Tap Create channel, and you’re done!
- 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.