Channels Like Telegram May Come on WhatsApp Very Soon
WhatsApp has announced that it will soon introduce “whatsapp channels,” a new “one-to-many” tool allowing companies and organizations to interact with multiple people simultaneously.
This feature is very similar to the channels already active on Telegram and Instagram, where a similar system has been in place for some time that allows people to communicate – with photos, videos, and audio messages – with those who follow them more privately.
How WhatsApp channels will work
Channels will be part of a new tab called “Updates,” which will replace the one that only shows the new Statuses of people in your address book. In short, the channels represent a personalized feed – a more intimate Twitter – whose contents will be deleted after thirty days.
Meta has also announced a series of elements concerning privacy: the telephone number of users who enter a channel will not be visible, and the other channels to which a user is subscribed will not be visible. Additionally, admins will also be able to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.
For now, messages won’t be protected by end-to-end encryption like private WhatsApp chats.
“Channels are meant to reach a large audience, so they aren’t end-to-end encrypted by default ,” WhatsApp explained in an article posted on the official blog. “However, we think that end-to-end encrypted channels could be useful for small audiences, such as in the case of nonprofits or healthcare organizations, and we are considering offering them in the future.”
Initially, the channels will be available only to “selected organizations” in Colombia and Singapore. They will arrive “in the coming months” in other countries.
The introduction of the channels follows other innovations which, recently, are showing how Meta intends to transform WhatsApp into something more than a simple private messaging application: it is now possible to use the same account on multiple smartphones; you can choose a username instead of a phone number and has expanded functionality for groups, which can include up to 1,024 people.