WhatsApp Channels have made their official debut in India, along with 150 other countries around the world. This eagerly anticipated feature from the Meta-owned chat platform has now become available, enabling individuals, teams, and organizations to disseminate information to their followers. WhatsApp users can easily search for and follow the channels of their choice to stay updated on the latest developments. Notably, various celebrities such as Vijay Deverakonda, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, and Diljit Dosanjh have already joined WhatsApp Channels. Even the Indian National Cricket Team has joined the platform ahead of the International ODI World Cup 2023 to keep fans informed. Here’s an overview of the newly launched WhatsApp Channels.
WhatsApp Channels Launch in India with Celebrities like Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar
WhatsApp is gradually rolling out Channels in India, and availability may vary among users. When you click on the link provided by the platform on X, you will either be directed to the channel if the feature is already accessible or informed that it’s not available yet, with an option to enable notifications for updates.
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) September 14, 2023
WhatsApp Channels will feature a dedicated ‘Updates’ tab where users can view channel updates from individuals or organizations they follow. Among the prominent channels are those for the Indian Cricket Team, Netflix, Katrina Kaif, Diljit Dosanjh, Vijay Devarakonda, Akshay Kumar, and more.
The Meta-owned chat platform has introduced three key features for WhatsApp Channels to enhance the user experience. Users will have access to an improved directory of channels, with automatic filtering options based on country, new channels, activity levels, and popularity in terms of follower count.
WhatsApp Channels will also enable users to react to shared updates, similar to personal chats, with the option to view reaction counts. However, these reactions will remain private and won’t be visible to other followers. Furthermore, when users forward an update from a WhatsApp channel, it will include a link back to the channel.
WhatsApp’s focus on privacy and security is evident in its approach to WhatsApp Channels. Personal information of admins and followers will remain confidential, with phone numbers kept hidden when users follow a channel. To protect user privacy, others won’t be able to see which channels a user follows. Additionally, the platform will retain channel history on its servers for only 30 days.
Admins of WhatsApp Channels will have control features at their disposal. They can choose who can follow their channel, decide whether their channels appear in Discovery, and even block message forwarding and screenshot functionality within their channels. It’s worth noting that WhatsApp Channels do not currently offer end-to-end encryption, although the company is considering it as a potential option.