Did WhatsApp just eat Twitter's lunch with a new Channels feature?

WhatsApp has announced Channels, a feature that will allow people to follow others as well as organizations in a new way that won't reveal their details.

1 minute & 7 seconds read time

WhatsApp has today announced a new feature called Channels, something that the company says will offer people a reliable and private way to receive updates from people and companies.

The feature puts a direct line to those people and companies into the WhatsApp app, but the conversation is only one way. That means that people who follow a WhatsApp channel from a company won't be able to reply to anything they post, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing.

Channels could have the potential to fill in for the way a lot of people use Twitter - to keep up on updates from their favorite companies or celebrities. A WhatsApp Channel could possibly provide that while making it easier for people to avoid the content they don't want to see. That's something that has become increasingly difficult to do on Twitter since Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout, of course.

As for Channels, WhatsApp says that it's working with global voices and select organizations in Colombia and Singapore, where the feature is launching first. However, WhatsApp goes on to say that it will bring Channels to more countries in the coming months. The ability for anyone to create a channel is also in the works and on a similar timeline, WhatsApp's announcement blog post confirmed.

WhatsApp says that following a channel won't reveal anyone's phone number, while channel history will only be stored for up to 30 days. There will be a way for Channel owners to reduce that timeframe in the future, too. There won't be support for end-to-end encryption however, something that might be worth bearing in mind.

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NEWS SOURCE:blog.whatsapp.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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