WhatsApp to introduce ‘Channels’ feature for broadcasting messages

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According to reports by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on a new feature called ‘Channels’ that will allow users to broadcast messages to multiple users at once. The feature has been spotted on the latest iOS beta build of WhatsApp.

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Renaming ‘Status’ to ‘Updates’

WhatsApp will reportedly rename the ‘Status’ tab to ‘Updates’ as it will display both statuses and broadcast channel information under this category. The ‘Channels’ feature is currently being developed for iOS users and is expected to be made available soon. While the feature is still in development for Android users, the latest WhatsApp beta iOS 23.8.0.75 update has made it available on the TestFlight app.

Private and Secure

A ‘WhatsApp Channel’ is a private tool where phone numbers and user details are kept hidden. These messages are not end-to-end encrypted, but it does not affect other private messages as they will remain end-to-end encrypted. Users have control over which channels they want to follow, and no one can see who they follow, regardless of who added them to the channel.

No auto-subscription to channels

Users will not be automatically subscribed to channels as there are “no algorithmic recommendations or social graphs pushing content to users that they didn’t choose to see.” Users have to choose to follow channels themselves.

Handles for Specific Channels

Channels also come with support for handles that help users look for specific channels. They can enter the username within the app and look for channels. “This feature is designed to improve the accessibility of channels, making it easier for users to get updates that they prefer,” the report added. The feature is similar to that of Telegram, and it is still under development.

Keep in Chat Feature

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a new feature for WhatsApp called “Keep in Chat.” This feature lets users keep important messages from disappearing when the disappearing messages feature is turned on. It allows users to hang on to the messages they need for later, even when the disappearing messages feature is activated. If a user has sent a message, they can keep it in chat if they prefer. Disappearing messages remove certain messages after a certain period of time.

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