Business News/ Technology / App News/  WhatsApp working on new Channels feature: What is it and how it will benefit users

Meta-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature called Channels. The feature is a one-to-all tool allowing users to quickly disseminate news to others. 

According to a WaBetaInfo report, the social messaging app may bring the new feature with a future update. Earlier the feature was rumoured to come for Android devices, but thanks to the latest WhatsApp beta for iOS, it is now known that WhatsApp is working on Channels for iPhone users as well. 

Sharing a screenshot of the upcoming feature, the report says that WhatsApp plans to rename the Status tab to ‘Updates’ as channels. WhatsApp channels will listed within this section of the app.

As mentioned before, a WhatsApp Channel is a private tool where phone numbers and user information joining a channel are always kept hidden. However, unlike individual chats, messages received within a channel will not be end-to-end encrypted. This is because the concept of one-to-many wouldn’t make much sense for channels. However, the end-to-end encryption of private messaging will not be impacted.

The WaBetaInfo report says that users will have control over which channels they want to subscribe to, and no one else can see whom they follow, regardless of whether they’ve added them as contacts or not. Additionally, people won’t get auto-subscribed to channels as there are no algorithmic recommendations or social graphs pushing content to users that they didn’t choose to see.

WhatsApp Channels will also support handles allowing users to search a specific WhatsApp channel by simply entering its username within WhatsApp. The feature, the report says, is designed to improve the accessibility of channels, making it easier for users to get updates that they prefer.

Channels for WhatsApp are under development. It is likely to be released with a future update.

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Updated: 24 Apr 2023, 10:46 AM IST
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