WhatsApp is developing a new feature called Channels – a broadcasting tool to help individuals and organizations share updates with their followers. Channels is described by WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, as a “reliable and private way to receive important updates from individuals and organizations.”
The new feature can be accessed through a new tab called “Updates”. Channel admins can share messages, photos, videos, stickers, and polls with their followers there. WhatsApp gives an example of a sports team that can share updates about games and players. You can also subscribe to local updates from your community or your favorite creators. Exactly this content can also be found via the search field.
Channel history is stored for a maximum of 30 days. WhatsApp also hides channel admins’ phone numbers and profile photos for security reasons. Admins also have the option to block post and screenshot forwarding. Channels will not offer end-to-end encryption at launch. However, WhatsApp is considering adding the feature to a limited audience in the future.
Channels are currently still in development and will initially be released in the WhatsApp beta for Android, iOS and desktop. The launch will take place with selected organizations in Colombia and Singapore before the broad rollout begins in the coming months.
In related news, WhatsApp also announced a new feature of its app that finally offers the ability to send high-resolution photos on Android and iOS devices. The feature is currently being tested by a small group of WhatsApp beta users. You can see it in the image above right. It uses a different compression algorithm that prioritizes quality over space. When sending a photo, you can choose between standard and HD quality instead of the current options “Automatic”, “Best quality” and “Data saver”.