WhatsApp launches channels

Publication date: 16 Jun 2023

WhatsApp has introduced another useful feature: video messaging. It was launched in June 2023 in test mode for iOS and Android. 

Users can record videos of up to 60 seconds in length. To do so, one needs to click on the microphone button on the chat panel in a dialogue. Once the button changes and a video camera icon appears, recording will begin. 

To protect personal data, all video messages will be end-to-end encrypted and cannot be saved or forwarded.

The feature is planned to be available to most users in a few weeks.

Channels on WhatsApp: features and functionalities

In June 2023, WhatsApp announced a new feature: channels will become available to users in the near future.

In addition, WhatsApp will create a catalogue of channels with news and content about sports, hobbies and other useful information. The desired channel will be accessible by searching through the catalogue or by an invitation. An invitation to the channel can be sent via chat, email or published on a third-party service. 

  • Channel administrators will be able to publish content: messages, photos, videos, stickers and polls. 
  • Publications in the channel will be deleted after some time.  WhatsApp will keep the information on the servers for no more than 30 days, personal settings with deletion deadlines will also be possible.  
  • Admins will be able to prohibit screenshots when viewing the channel and forwarding content from the channel.
  • Admins will be able to determine who is allowed to subscribe to their channels, as well as hide their channels from directory search results. 
  • WhatsApp plans to give administrators the opportunity to earn from their channels: integrate payment services and promote certain channels.
  • Channel subscribers can only view the channels, without the ability to comment. 
  • Channels to which the user has subscribed will be placed separately from chats and communities in a new tab called “Current”. 

The creators of WhatsApp’s new service are separately specifying how to protect personal data: 

  • the list of channels to which the user is subscribed is available only to him;
  • phone number and profile picture of the administrator will not be available to subscribers;
  • subscribers’ phone numbers will be hidden from everyone in the channel, including administrators.

Recall that WhatsApp is one of the most popular online services in the world. The messenger is leading in Portugal, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kenya, Moldova and a number of other countries. In Russia, WhatsApp competes with Telegram, which has been successful in sharing messages and publishing information in groups and channels.

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