WhatsApp is introducing the Channels feature, which was previously available in 10 countries, in 150 additional countries – including Germany. The channels allow users to follow specific organizers or people and see new content from the channels, almost like on Instagram or Twitter.
The channels can be set up via a new “Current” tab. The function is currently being rolled out by WhatsApp and should be available to all users over the next few days, probably without an app update.
WhatsApp promises in a blog postthat particular emphasis was placed on privacy and that it should not be visible to other followers in the channel who else is following the channels. However, this promise does not allow any conclusions to be drawn as to the extent to which Meta itself uses this follower information for its own purposes, for example to finance the service or the new channel function.
The user should be able to find new channels using the search function, and there will also be a filter function that can be used, for example, to find the most active, newest and most popular channels. Subscribers can respond to posts in the form of emojis; these are also visible to other followers, but they should not be assignable to a specific user.
In the future, channel operators will have up to 30 days to process their reports before they are deleted from the server. These channel messages can be forwarded by WhatsApp users in chats and group chats. The forwarded messages will contain a link to the channel post. The latter will therefore represent advertising for the channels and the channels function as well as serve as a source link so that the authenticity of the post can be easily checked.