Meta Takes WhatsApp Channels Global: New Features and Celebrities Unveiled
Meta expands WhatsApp Channels to over 150 countries, introducing new features, celebrities, and personalized recommendations. The aim is to create a private broadcasting service while emulating successful social media features.
Meta has taken a significant stride in expanding WhatsApp's Channels, originally introduced in early June and initially available in only ten countries. Now, this feature is set to extend its reach to over 150 countries, marking a substantial leap in its global presence. In conjunction with this expansion, Meta is rolling out a slew of new features and welcoming prominent public figures to the platform.
Thousands of new organizations and celebrities, including the likes of MLB and Olivia Rodrigo, are joining Channels, enriching the content diversity. One notable enhancement is the introduction of personalized recommendations based on users' locations and the popularity of accounts. Users can now express their sentiments using emojis to provide feedback, and channel administrators have gained the ability to edit their Updates for the entire 30-day period before WhatsApp automatically removes them. Additionally, forwarded Updates will now be linked back to the original channel, fostering community engagement.
Notably, Meta's overarching goal with Channels is to create the most private broadcasting service available. This means that other users won't be privy to the list of accounts you follow, and your phone number will not be shared with individuals you follow.
Channels initially debuted on Instagram, another Meta-owned platform, in February, drawing inspiration from Telegram's channel feature. Its integration into WhatsApp is part of Meta's broader strategy to elevate the messaging app beyond its fundamental functionality. Meta has been proactive in introducing features reminiscent of those offered by other social media companies, such as features for joining and leaving group chats (akin to Discord) and instant video messaging (a nod to Snapchat and Telegram). In the dynamic landscape of social media, original ideas are increasingly rare, and Meta's approach aligns with this trend.