Meta is aiming to expand its “Channels” broadcast chat initiative on WhatsApp, giving users another way to communicate updates with groups of people within the app, as it continues to tilt towards private messaging in line with emerging engagement trends.
As you can see in the illustration given below by WABetaInfo, the functionality brought to Instagram back in February is quite similar to the new WhatsApp Channels feature, which is presently under development.
Using channels, WhatsApp users may follow specific creators or get direct messages (DMs) on topics of interest and the administrators of those accounts would then have a new opportunity to share updates with larger audiences.
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According to WABetaInfo “Channels will support handles so users will be able to search for a specific WhatsApp channel by simply entering its username within WhatsApp, eliminating the need to navigate to external websites. This feature is designed to improve the accessibility of channels, making it easier for users to get their preferred updates.”
Meta has been working on a range of new options to feed into the behavior of more people engaging via private chats rather than posting to their public feeds. Ideally, these options will also provide brands and creators with new ways to maximize community engagement in order to increase their following.
As more people turn to more private communication channels, WhatsApp usage in the US has also significantly increased. If Meta can incorporate the proper tools and features to keep users more interested in the app, given that it’s also the most popular messaging platform in the world, there are tremendous prospects here.
On this front, broadcast channels are an additional choice. They offer greater usefulness within WhatsApp, which might make it a bigger consideration for brand and community creation in the future.
There are currently no specifics on an official release, but it appears to be coming shortly.