A quick update you’ll need on WhatsApp Channels.
Earlier this year Meta announced plans for this tool and was launched as a trial in two countries in Asia.
They’ve now rolled this out to the UK.
What’s WhatsApp Channels? Basically, it will allow organisations to be able to use WhatsApp itself as a way to reach people on the platform.
This is huge, huge news given that around 80 per cent of 18 to 64-year-olds use the platform (source: Ofcom).
Previously, using WhatsApp was limited to WhatsApp for Business with a limit of 256 subscribers.
The sky is literally the limit. We talk about Threads as a competitor for X (formerly Twitter). I wonder if its WhatsApp Channels may fill part of this role in an emergency given the existing interconnectedness of existing WhatsApp.
The ability to use WhatsApp Channels and the ability to create is being rolled out as of September 2023.
We’ve appreciated all the positive feedback from our initial start in ten countries. As we expand Channels globally, we’re introducing the following updates:
- Enhanced Directory – you can now find channels to follow that are automatically filtered based on your country. You can also view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on number of followers.
- Reactions – you can react using emojis to give feedback and see a count of total reactions. How you react will not be shown to followers.
- Editing – soon, admins will be able to make changes to their Updates for up to 30 days, when we automatically delete them from our servers.
- Forwarding – whenever you forward an Update to chats or groups it will include a link back to the channel so people can find out more.
A quick look at channels so far
Taking a look at what’s available in the first days
BBC News 79,000 subscribers
Manchester City Football Club 3.7 million subscribers
Liverpool Football Club 3.3 million subscribers
LadBible 6,8k follow
Content so far
I’ve taken a look at the limited pool that’s out there.
The big observation is that there are links in content.
That in itself is huge as links were discouraged in version 1.0 of WhatsApp.