WhatsApp Channels, similar to Instagram Broadcast, were launched in 150 countries, including India, in September 2023. These channels serve as one-way broadcast tools, allowing certain users, like celebrities, businesses, or content creators, to share updates with numerous WhatsApp users.
Only the channel owners can send messages, while other users can react to them. Users can search a directory to find and follow channels.
According to a WABetaInfo report, WhatsApp is introducing a new beta update enabling channel admins to share stickers with their followers. The feature, currently available to select beta testers, includes both static and animated stickers.
To check for access, users can update to the latest beta version of WhatsApp, access their channel tab, and look for the sticker option alongside the emoji keyboard. The feature is expected to reach more beta testers in the coming weeks, although an Indian Express report suggests it’s already available to all channel users.
WhatsApp Channels’ Popularity and Security
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that WhatsApp Channels amassed 500 million monthly active users within the first seven weeks of its launch. The channels are conveniently placed in the Updates tab on iOS and Android devices alongside WhatsApp Status updates.
Messages within WhatsApp Channels do not have end-to-end encryption protection. While only channel owners can post updates and messages, members or followers can interact with these messages. All messages in a channel remain visible for 30 days from the time they are first shared.
In other tech news, Apple unveiled its first mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, at its annual developer conference, WWDC 2023. The event also featured new Mac models and upcoming software updates.