These are the new WhatsApp Channels, a one-way communication service to create communities

After various rumors and leaks, WhatsApp Channels are already a reality, although they will not yet be available in Spain. The social network itself has been in charge of confirming it in a publication on its official blog, in which it states that the channels are “a simple, reliable and private way to receive important news from people and organizations, directly on WhatsApp”.

At the moment, the channels They are only available in Colombia and Singapore, where the technology company is working with a handful of organizations. In the coming months they hope to be able to deploy this tool in more countries, as well as allow anyone to create their own channel.

How WhatsApp Channels work

From WhatsApp they emphasize that the channels are a one-way communication tool, that is, only the administrator can publish texts, photos, videos, stickers and surveys. In this way, users can be informed about their topics of interest, from cooking recipes to news about their favorite sports teams.

The channels are located inside a new tab called «News», where, currently, the states tab is located. Within it you will be able to access both the statuses of your friends and family as well as the updates of the followed channels, the latter located at the bottom of the section.

For start following a channel, just look at the top right corner of the news section, where there is a magnifying glass with which you can explore, find and start following public channels. On the other hand, it is also possible access a channel using an invite link, sent by chats, emails or posted online.

This channel tool It is already possible to find it on Telegram, although with the difference that communication is more bidirectional.

Safety first

One of the biggest differences between channels and conventional chats is privacy: the phone number and profile photo of the administrator is not shown to the followers, while the administrator and other followers cannot access numbers or profile photo either. The choice of which channel to follow will be private.

Other privacy features that administrators will have are: block screenshot or content forwarding options of the channel, decide who can follow their channel and if they want to make their channel public to appear in the search directory or not. On the other hand, the recording of channel messages has been limited to a maximum of 30 days, but the history may be deleted even before this time.

According to WhatsApp, the goal of the channels is to reach a wider audience, so the information is not end-to-end encrypted by default, though they state: “we think there are some cases where end-to-end encrypted channels for a limited audience might make sense, such as a nonprofit or healthcare organization, so we are exploring this option as well.” for the future”.

Another possibility that has been given to administrators is that they can build a business around your channel. So they make available expanded WhatsApp payment services, as well as the ability to promote some channels to increase their recognition and reach.

Photo: WhatsApp blog

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