WhatsApp’s Testing a New ‘Channels’ Broadcast Chat Functionality

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As it continues to lean into private messaging, aligning with emerging engagement trends, Meta’s looking to expand its ‘Channels’ broadcast chat initiative to WhatsApp, providing another way to share updates with groups of people in the app.

WhatsApp Channels

As you can see in these images, shared by WABetaInfo, the new WhatsApp Channels feature, which is currently in development, looks very similar to the functionality added to Instagram back in February.

Instagram channels

Channels would enable WhatsApp users to get DMs on topics of interest, or follow certain creators in the app, with the admins of those accounts then able to share updates with larger audiences in a new way.

As noted, with more people now engaging via private chats, as opposed to posting to their public feeds, Meta has been working on a range of new options to feed into this behavior, while also, ideally, giving brands and creators new ways to maximize community engagement, with a view to expanding their following.

WhatsApp, too, has seen a significant increase in usage within the US, as people look to more private means of communication. And given that it’s also the most used messaging platform in the world, the opportunities here are significant, if Meta can build in the right tools and features to keep users more engaged in the app.

Broadcast channels are another option on this front, providing more utility within WhatsApp, which could make it a bigger consideration for brand and community building in future.

There’s no detail on an official release as yet, but it looks to be coming soon.

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