Meta Announces Feature Updates for WhatsApp Channel, Expands to 150 Countries To Challenge X

Meta has unveiled substantial enhancements to its WhatsApp Channel functionality, as part of a strategic initiative to transform the messaging application into something resembling X, previously known as Twitter.

This announcement comes shortly after Elon Musk disclosed intentions to introduce calling and video chat features on X, akin to those found on WhatsApp.

According to a Meta statement, these updates will roll out to WhatsApp users in over 150 countries in the coming weeks.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and CEO, expressed his belief on his verified Facebook page that these changes will provide additional value to WhatsApp users.

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He said:

“Excited to introduce you all to WhatsApp Channels, a new private way for you to get updates from people and organizations you follow. I’m starting this channel to share Meta news and updates.”

WhatsApp Channel’s key new features

  • Enhanced Directory – Users can now find channels to follow that are automatically filtered based on their country. They can also view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on the number of followers.
  • Reactions – Users can also react using emojis to give feedback and see a count of total reactions. How you react will not be shown to followers.
  • Editing – While admins will be able to make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days, we will automatically delete them from our servers.
  • Forwarding – Whenever you forward an Update to chats or groups, it will include a link to the channel so that people can find out more.

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WhatsApp releases channel features for broadcast messages for organisations and businesses

Meanwhile, in another report, WhatsApp and Instagram have rolled out a broadcast-based messaging feature called Channels on WhatsApp, much like the recent update it announced on Instagram as it experiments with giving more conversational avenues to its users.

The company also aims to monetize the feature in the future. Admins’ phone numbers won’t be visible on the channels.

Channels will appear on the new WhatsApp feature in a new tab called Updates.

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