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WhatsApp's Channels private broadcast feature now available in 150 countries (updated)

By Liu Hongzuo - on 14 Sep 2023, 12:34pm

WhatsApp's Channels private broadcast feature now available in 150 countries (updated)

This article was originally published on 8 June 2023.

14 September 2023 update: This WhatsApp feature is now available in over 150 countries, instead of the original test run of two territories. We've appended more details below.

WhatsApp launches Channels feature.

WhatsApp today (8 June 2023) announced a new feature called Channels, allowing users to stay updated on their favourite topics without having to reveal their personal details to others.

What is WhatsApp Channels?

Channels is a private broadcast service allowing users to follow groups and topics of interest. It is kept separately from your personal chat and chatgroups between friends and family, in its own “Updates” tab.

It is effectively similar to Telegram’s Channels feature, where users can receive updates and messages from the organisation or personality they are following, and Channel owners and disseminate content without being bombarded by followers.

The key features of WhatsApp Channels are as follows:

  • Phone numbers remain hidden — for both admins and followers of the Channel
  • Admins cannot add followers to a Channel
  • Channel history is available for 30 days, and will disappear automatically after 
  • Admins’ phone number(s) and profile picture(s) are hidden
  • Other users cannot see what Channels you join
  • Other users cannot contact you even if you’re in the same Channel

WhatsApp has chosen two countries to launch its new Channels feature: Singapore and Columbia. The Channels feature will eventually roll out to other territories. WhatsApp said it would bring the feature along with “the ability for anyone to create a channel over the coming months”.

Any Channels I can try following for now?

Yes. WhatsApp has partnered with several Singapore-based organisations to kick off its Channels feature. The messaging service also has global Channels for specific interest groups. We’ve listed them all below for your convenience.



WhatsApp Channels now available in 150 countries

WhatsApp Channels is now available across the world.

14 September 2023 update: Three months after the initial rollout of Channels to Singapore and Colombia, WhatsApp Channels is now rolled out globally to over 150 countries.

New Singapore-specific Channels you can follow now include SG Student Promos and Uchify

Global Channels added to the mix include Man City FC and UNICEF.

Source: WhatsApp (blog)

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