“Channels is a new WhatsApp feature that allows users, organizations and entities of various types to share information in a simple, private and reliable way,” explains Pablo Bello, Director of Public Policy at WhatsApp Latin America.
The tool was presented last June, according to the platform’s official blog in Spanish, and that is until then September 13, which will launch in 150 countries, including Mexico. Availability is gradual, so the corresponding update in the mobile app may take a few days.
Channels, the new thing about WhatsApp
The information presented by each organization or public figure on their channel has a unidirectional character, Meaning. That people won’t be able to respond to it. Or not like in a traditional chat with an instant messaging application. Space administrators can also send texts, photos, documents, videos, voice notes and stickers.
Bello expects the poll sharing option to be enabled. However, it is a feature that is still under development, although it will be “available soon.” Polls and reactions are exactly the mechanisms that administrators can use to get feedback from their audience. “Channels is not a social experience, but a private experience with the intention of accessing information shared by organizations, organizations or creators,” affirms the WhatsApp representative.
Features of WhatsApp channels
A new section called “Updates” will appear on the main WhatsApp interface, which contains states and channels. This means that these media are separated from personal chats. “We don’t want Canales to disrupt the way WhatsApp is used by millions and millions of Mexicans,” Bello said.
Each user decides which channel to follow (or which to unfollow at any given time), and they cannot be added to a channel by another person. There is also the option to report publications. However, the number of subscribers of each channel will be visible. No one can know who is following him, not even his contacts.
Besides privacy Phone numbers remain hidden for all. The publications are displayed in chronological order. And only a content history of the last 30 days is available, with the intention of letting people decide whether to follow a space.
Bello demands this from everyone Channels are muted by default, but subscribers can turn on notifications for those that interest them most. Another of their features is that they are public, allowing people to search for relevant spaces by country, introduction, activity and popularity.
Some of those already confirmed for Mexico are: AFP Factual, Omar Chaparro, Grupo Frontera, Carlos Vives, Eugenio Derbez, Banda MS. Adriana Fonseca, Yordi Rosado, Adela Micha, Martha Debayle, UNICEF México, Club Tigres, Club León, Club América and TNT Sports MX. “Initially, we will have verified channels from organizations, sports teams, artists, influencers, media and others,” assures Bello.
In this first phase of launch, users will not be able to create their own channel. It is an option that will be available later, “in a few weeks.” “We want Canales to contribute to generating more information of better quality and that this happens in an environment of trust, security and protection of users,” concludes Bello.