WhatsApp Channels to come with 12 new features including verification, follower count

  • WhatsApp Channels is a new feature for bigger public broadcasting on the app.
  • This feature will work like Instagram and Telegram Channels.
  • A new update now gives us a better idea on what we can expect from WhatsApp Channels. 

WhatsApp has been working on a new feature called ‘Channels’ for broader communication with more people, which is going to come with 12 new, elaborate features. WhatsApp Channels, similar to Instagram Channels and Telegram Channels, are essentially broadcasting tools for different topics that you can subscribe to and get the latest updates. In our previous report we talked about what channels are, and now we have a better idea on how exactly it will work and the different features that will come with it. 

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WhatsApp Channels 

WhatsApp Channels are not to be confused with Communities which lets you make a bigger group for sub-groups, but it’s instead more of a public broadcasting tool. Here, you can subscribe to a channel that interests you and get updates on it. The difference is that only admins can send messages in the group but users can react and vote in polls.

According to a new report by WABetaInfo, there’s a new update that has 12 new features for WhatsApp Channels. Let’s take a look at each of them:

  • WhatsApp Channels will have a full-width messaging interface on the app. There’s no corresponding image for the same but we should start seeing it soon. 
  • WhatsApp Channels can be verified with the green tick that will appear next to its name. This will help users understand which channels are authentic. The verification process hasn’t been revealed yet though.
  • WhatsApp will also display the number of followers under the channel name. This will however be an approximation for channels with large followings. For a more specific count, you can go to the channel info screen and find it there.
  • The channel info screen will also display the description so you have an idea on what’s it all about.
  • Just like you can mute chats and groups, you will also be able to mute WhatsApp Channels. The mute notification button will be available along with the channel name. For easier access, WhatsApp will also add a mute toggle button as well. 
  • WhatsApp Channels will also come with support for handles. So, instead of your name or phone number, your handle (username) will be displayed in the channel.
  •  WhatsApp Channels will also come with shortcuts that will let you unfollow, forward or share a channel with other people. 
  • To make it easier for people to find channels on WhatsApp, these will be made public. So users can search for any topic they want and if there are existing channels then they can join them. 
  • WhatsApp is also giving users the option to report channels to the moderation team. Channels can be suspended which means that users won’t be able to follow it, and messages sent to it will also be deleted. 

As for the availability of this feature, it’s still under development with no official confirmation yet. WhatsApp is expected to make it available for beta testing soon, and an official release will follow after. 

Another thing to note here is that since WhatsApp Channels are public tools, messages sent here will not be end-to-end encrypted. But channels will still remain private and secure, and this will not affect the overall encryption on WhatsApp chats, according to the report.