WhatsApp is introducing its new Whatsapp Channels feature to a broader audience, extending it to more than 150 countries. Previously, this one-to-many broadcasting feature was only accessible to specific organizations in Colombia and Singapore. Much like Telegram’s messaging app, WhatsApp’s Channels feature allows users to receive updates from creators, organizations, and brands, including The Verge. You can subscribe to our channel by clicking here to get updates from a single source. Instagram also introduced a similar feature earlier this year, known as broadcast channels.

In addition to this wider rollout, WhatsApp is introducing several new enhancements to the feature. These include an enhanced directory that enables users to filter channels based on countries and sort them by newness, activity level, and popularity. Users can now express their reactions to posts within channels using emojis. Furthermore, channel administrators can edit their updates for up to 30 days before the platform removes them from its servers.

WhatsApp is also welcoming “thousands” of new channels, including those managed by notable figures like Olivia Rodrigo, the MLB, and Mark Zuckerberg. WhatsApp plans to continue adding more features to Channels based on user feedback. The platform also mentions that it will soon allow anyone to create a channel “in the coming months.” If you don’t yet see the Channels feature in your app, WhatsApp suggests joining its waitlist on mobile to receive notifications when it becomes available.

Already, some of the most prominent celebrities, sports teams, artists, thought leaders, and organizations from India and around the world are available on WhatsApp for you to follow. Examples include the Indian Cricket team, Katrina Kaif, Diljit Dosanjh, Akshay Kumar, Vijay Deverakonda, Neha Kakkar, and many others from India. You can also follow Mark Zuckerberg, who has launched his own WhatsApp Channel to share updates on Facebook and WhatsApp products.

whatsapp channels feature

WhatsApp Channels are designed to be the most private broadcast service available. As a channel follower, your phone number and profile photo remain hidden from the admin and other followers. Similarly, following a channel won’t expose your phone number to the admin. Whom you choose to follow is entirely your private choice. Additionally, channel history is retained for only 30 days.

You can also react to updates using emojis and see a total count of reactions, which are kept private from other followers. Updates can also be forwarded to chats or groups with a link back to the channel for more information. If you wish to stop following a channel, you can easily mute or unsubscribe from it at any time.

As an admin, you can create a channel using your existing WhatsApp account or a new one. You also have the flexibility to edit your updates for up to 30 days, after which they will be automatically deleted from WhatsApp servers.

Here’s how to use WhatsApp Channels:

  1. Ensure you have the latest version of WhatsApp installed from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
  2. Open WhatsApp and tap on the Updates tab at the bottom of the screen. You’ll find a list of channels available for you to follow.
  3. To follow a channel, simply tap the ‘+’ button next to its name. You can also tap on the channel name to view its profile and description.
  4. To add a reaction to a channel update, press and hold on the message.