You know the popularity of WhatsApp here in the Middle East. It is the most popular messaging app in the region. Now, the app itself is tapping into the growing shift of one-way broadcasting messaging. According to the official blog, WhatsApp Channels is expanding to 150 countries.

While the initial test took place across few select countries months ago, users in the Middle East and North Africa region now get to use this feature. Can’t forget India where the app is like a daily routine.

Follow, then receive private updates

WhatsApp channels works in a similar way as Instagram Channels, letting you follow to get updates on topics and brands you like.

The current rollout has channels from celebrities, brands, and sports teams. Any personal information like your phone number is not even visible to admins or the channel subscribers. Neither will other users be able to see which channels you follow. All updates being shared via Channels are available for up to 30 days, keeping things fresh and relevant.

As WhatsApp requires using your mobile phone number, how does one even find Channels to follow? The dedicated Updates tab in the app serves as a hub for it. Want to create your own channel? You’ll have to wait, as that will be coming further down the road.

More Channels-focused features

With the expanded global rollout, more features ar ebeing added to Channels.

  • Enhanced Directory: Find channels to follow that are automatically filtered by your location. You can also view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on number of followers.
  • Reactions: Users can react to updates using emojis to give feedback and see a count of total reactions.
  • Editing: Channel Admins will have the ability to make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days.
  • Forwarding: Want to forward an Update from a Channel you follow? It will include a link back to the source channel, so people can find out more.
What’s new on WhatsApp

As more people start to pivot more towards private messaging for their social media activities, WhatsApp Channels could become the gold mine opportunity for brands.

Firrst channel I’d recommend to follow is the very one by WhatsApp to get latets updates (view here). If you still don’t see the option, make sure you’ve updated WhatsApp on iOS and/or Android.

Image Credit: WhatsApp Blog

Published by Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

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