Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, says WhatsApp has recently introduced a new feature called Channels, which enables users to acquire followers on the platform similar to Twitter.
Zuckerberg made the announcement about the new feature on Thursday through his Instagram channel. He explained that WhatsApp’s Channels offer a distinct experience separate from users’ personal chats.
He described Channels as a private feature that enables individuals to follow people and organizations of importance to them. Zuckerberg further mentioned that the feature would initially be introduced in Singapore and Colombia, with a subsequent global rollout planned for later this year.
The Meta CEO, while sharing the announcement via an Instagram broadcast, said WhatsApp has unveiled a new feature called WhatsApp Channels, allowing users to privately follow individuals and organizations for updates. Also, that the channels are distinct from personal chats and can be accessed through a dedicated Updates tab, enabling users to conveniently discover and keep track of the channels they wish to follow.
He added that WhatsApp is prioritizing privacy in its new Channels feature, aiming to provide the most secure communication experience. Channel admins, whether it’s for content like the UFC or the Drone Racing League, can rest assured that their phone numbers remain hidden from followers. Similarly, followers’ identities will not be revealed to the admin or other followers of the channel.
He said, “For me, this is stuff like the UFC or the Drone Racing League. This is WhatsApp. So we’re building channels to be the most private way to communicate. As a channel admin, your phone number won’t be shown to followers, and following a channel won’t show that to the admin or others following the channel either.
Continuing, Zuckerberg said WhatsApp adheres to its principle of not storing user messages, and this extends to channel updates. Channel updates will have a limited availability of 30 days without any permanent record. Additionally, in the future, channel creators will have the option to decide whether anyone can follow them, keep their channel hidden, or approve follower requests.
Zuckerberg said WhatsApp is also working on end-to-end encrypted channels for organisations or individuals that are trying to reach limited audiences.
Zuckerberg mentioned that WhatsApp is actively developing end-to-end encrypted channels specifically designed for organizations or individuals seeking to connect with limited audiences.
This forthcoming feature aims to provide an added layer of security and privacy for those who require more exclusive communication options on the platform.
“We’re just getting started with channels. And I can’t wait to bring this to everyone later this year,” he added.
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