Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Meta has recently launched telegram like feature on WhatsApp. It has been named ‘WhatsApp Channels’. It is a new feature that allows its users to follow and get updates from people and organisations within the app. Although this new feature is a broadcast tool, but as a user, you get a chance to create WhatsApp channels on several topics that people can follow and the admin shares’ updates too. You can also send or share texts, photos, videos, stickers, and polls in WhatsApp Channels. Moreover, you can follow all the channels related to different topics and information which are of your interest.

You can see these WhatsApp Channels along with your chats and calls under a new tab, called ‘Updates’. Under ‘Updates’ feature, you can see all the channels that you follow. However, it is not clear if WhatsApp Channels can be created by anyone, but it is for sure that there would be official ones as well, which would also have the verified green tick indicating that they’re legitimate.

Privacy features of WhatsApp Channels:-

There are various privacy features of the new WhatsApp channel, which are as follows:-

  • Although, WhatsApp is a personal messaging app, but channels act like a public tool. So, to maintain privacy, WhatsApp is going to keep the admin and follower’s phone number and profile photo hidden from everyone. But at the same time, channels aren’t going to be end to end encrypted like other chats are.
  • Now, everyone cannot create a ‘WhatsApp Channel’ as of now. This facility will be given to only those selected, who would be selected by WhatsApp. However, this restriction will change in the upcoming months.
  • A channel’s admin can connect with its followers by sending texts, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. Profile photos and mobile numbers of the admin and followers will stay hidden from each other to maintain privacy. WhatsApp says it will store channel history on its servers for up to 30 days. Admins can further block screenshots and forwarding of messages shared in the channel.
  • Admins will also have a power to choose the person or group, who can follow their channel. However, the channel will not be end to end encrypted by default, as WhatsApp believes that a channel’s ultimate goal is to reach a wider audience. However, the team is considering the possibility of bringing encryption to channels.
  • It will be now up to the followers to choose the channels that they want to follow. They can search for channels using a searchable directory, but only those that have been set for public. They can also join a channel using the invite link. However, since channels are one way broadcasts, followers cannot send messages.

WhatsApp is also introducing a new ‘Updates’ tab that will consolidate Status and Channels. It will be a dedicated tab for users to check status and channel updates from a single place. The new HD feature will eliminate the need for workarounds like sharing images as documents to retain their original quality.

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