WhatsApp might soon become more than just a simple messaging application, thanks to a new feature called “Channels.” According to WhatsApp, the broadcast feature will allow users to follow certain accounts and view their posts.

Despite this, Meta is trying to promote Channels as a way to disseminate important announcements. According to the company, this will turn WhatsApp into a “private broadcast messaging product” by allowing local government accounts, services, and agencies to post all their announcements.

Of course, knowing Meta, Channels is meant more than that. Once released globally, the feature will create a new avenue for creators and businesses to promote their brands. With this, it is not a surprise that Meta has plans to inject monetization capabilities and payment features into Channels in the future. 

Accounts that will be able to access the feature can post content and announcement using channels. These posts could include “send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls.” Channels posts will be displayed in a new tab called Updates on WhatsApp.

Moreover, WhatsApp says channel admin information won’t be shown when a post is made. Similarly, followers’ info, like their numbers, will be incognito. And aside from posts being end-to-end encrypted, WhatsApp will also give Channels admins the ability to enable the blocking of screenshots and forwarding functions, making sure the content their followers are viewing in the place will remain private. 

Colombia and Singapore are the first markets to experience Channels. Meta is partnering with World Health Organization, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City for the feature’s launch and promises to soon bring the feature to more markets “in the coming months.”

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