WhatsApp Channels, All You Need To Know
WhatsApp, as everyone knows, is a messaging application, recognised worldwide with more than 2.7 billion active users. The messenger app recently rolled out Channels, a one-way broadcast feature where you can post text messages, pictures, polls and stickers. Once an admin shares a post on Channels, their followers can choose to react to the post in the form of emojis.
Channels has been launched in 150 countries including India.
Interestingly, those who use the Telegram app may find its features strikingly similar. The new feature also bears a resemblance to Instagram’s recent update, Broadcast Channels. For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, Broadcast Channels is a feature that lets creators share text, photos, video, polls, and voice messages with their subscribers.
Recently WhatsApp had also launched an official Channel for direct communication about product updates.
Following the update, the Status tab in WhatsApp has been replaced by Updates. As you check the tab, you may notice that the Status has been moved to the top. Just below the Status Bar, you will find Channels with famous personalities designed in a chat-like user interface. The tab features popular stars, creators, sports personalities and other notable figures. You can follow your favourite figures here. And if you don’t find them there, try searching for them in the Find All option.
What’s interesting is that businesses and organizations can start a Channel on WhatsApp but not on Instagram Broadcast Channel. The reason is that Instagram limits this feature exclusively to Creator Accounts and not to Personal or Business accounts.
Creating your own channel is simple. Tap on the + icon on the right of Channels option. Once you do so, the app will guide you through the options to create a channel, add a name and an image, and your channel is ready. Right now, there is no limit on the number of channels a user can create.
Here are the additional updates of WhatsApp Channels:
- Enhanced Directory – The directory now offers an improved method of discovering channels curated according to your location. You can also discover new Channels, the most active ones, and the most popular ones based on the number of followers.
- Reactions – As a follower of a Channel, you can react to the post with emojis and see the total number of reactions. Your individual reaction will not be visible to other followers.
- Editing – Soon, admins will be able to make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days. After this period it will be deleted from the servers.
- Forwarding – Whenever you forward an Update to chats or groups it will include a link back to the channel.
[Source: Meta Newsroom]
According to Meta, Channels is a way of providing a ‘private way to receive updates that matter to you’.
Unlike other social media platforms by Meta, who you decide to follow remains strictly private and will be visible only to you. Your presence on a channel will not be visible to fellow followers, and your reactions to posts remain private as well. The admin of a Channel can only access your phone number or profile name if they have saved your number as a contact. However, they may be able to see your profile picture and your interactions with the post.
Channel admins have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel. The followers cannot reply or send messages in a public Channel but only react with an emoji.
WhatsApp retains Channels history for 30 days on their servers. Most importantly, Channels remain separated from your regular Chats conversations as it is placed in a different tab.
WhatsApp Channels will offer organisations and famous personalities new ways to engage with their audiences on a more private platform. Businesses can make use of this feature, to make a more personal connection with their customers. They can reach a wide audience and encourage them to engage with the post, promoting engagement and brand-building efforts on a broader scale.
Businesses often delegate this task to an agency for a more professional approach. Business persons can partner with a creative advertising agency in Kochi to manage this task more effectively. This ensures not only adept handling of their WhatsApp Channels but also an infusion of creativity and market-specific strategies, enhancing their brand resonance with their target audience.
Meta’s strategy appears to be geared towards enticing users who primarily use WhatsApp by offering them a condensed Instagram experience. Alternatively, they might be attempting to transform WhatsApp into a broader social media platform. Let’s wait and watch.