According to parent company Meta, the new Channels feature is slated to be a reliable and private way for individuals and organizations to share important updates with their followers. Designed to enhance communication, Channels will be accessible through a dedicated Updates tab within WhatsApp.
Channel administrators will be able to share various types of content with their followers, including messages, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. This opens up a world of possibilities, ranging from sporting teams providing game updates and player news to receiving timely information from local officials.
Users can also stay updated on the latest news from their favorite creators and engage with hobby page groups.
Users will be able to search for preferred organizations and interesting channels
Channel history will be stored for up to 30 days. However, administrators’ phone numbers and profile photos will remain hidden from followers. This should help ensure security and privacy. Furthermore, administrators will have the option to block post forwarding and prevent screenshots for added control.
Notably, Channels will not initially feature end-to-end encryption. Still, WhatsApp intends to explore introducing limited audience end-to-end encryption channels in the future, prioritizing user privacy.
Channels is currently in development and will likely launch first on WhatsApp beta for Android, iOS, and desktop. Select organizations in Colombia and Singapore will be able to debut the feature before it rolls out to a wider audience. A full release should be arriving in the coming months.
In addition to the introduction of Channels, WhatsApp has also announced a long-awaited feature: the ability to send high-definition photos on Android and iOS devices.
Currently being tested by a small group of WhatsApp beta users, this new functionality utilizes a light compression algorithm to preserve the quality of photos.
Users will now have the option to select between standard and HD quality when sharing photos in their chats. This should expand their creative expression while maintaining image fidelity.