Mark Zuckerberg has announced the launch of WhatsApp Channels - a simple and private way to receive important updates from people and organisations, right within WhatsApp.
Zuckerberg said, “Today we're announcing WhatsApp Channels -- a private way to follow people and organisations that matter to you, right within WhatsApp. We are starting in Singapore and Colombia, but will roll out to everyone later this year. 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. One of WhatsApp’s core principles is to not store your messages. That's why channel updates will only be available for 30 days with no permanent record. We're just getting started with Channels. And I can't wait to bring this to everyone later this year.”
As per the blog, Channels is being built in a new tab called Updates - where one can find Status and channels they choose to follow - separate from your chats with family, friends, and communities.
Channels will be a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls.
“We’re aspiring to build the most private broadcast service available. This starts by protecting the personal information of both admins and followers. As a channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers. Likewise, following a channel won’t reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice and it’s private,” the company said.
As per Zuckerberg, they will only store channel history on servers for up to 30 days and we’ll add ways to make updates disappear even faster from follower’s devices. Admins will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channel.
The company said it is excited to work with global voices and select organisations in Colombia and Singapore, where Channels will first be available, to build, learn, and adapt the experience. It will then be rolled out in more countries over the coming months.