How to create a Channel; WhatsApp’s latest feature on your phone

Channels Whatsapp

Meta has introduced a new feature,Channels, to the global WhatsApp platform.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

With leading social applications launching new features every now and then, Meta has introduced a new feature,Channels, to the global WhatsApp platform.

Meta is seeking to expand its products and capture more users. The feature that was first rolled out in June in Singapore and Colombia is finally available in Kenya. WhatsApp made this announcement on Tuesday on Twitter (now X).

A statement by WhatsApp described the new feature as “a simple, reliable, and private way to receive important updates from people and organizations, right within WhatsApp.”  

Channels are built on a new tab called Updates - where you’ll find Status and channels you choose to follow. This is separate from your normal chats

Channel admins can use the feature as a broadcast tool to share text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls by sending invite links to prospective followers.  

To aid users in selecting channels to follow, Meta has in place, a searchable directory where users can find their hobbies, sports teams, updates from local officials, and more.

Meta indicated as a WhatsApp channel admin, your phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers.

Further, following a channel will not reveal your phone number to the admin or other followers. Who you decide to follow is your choice, and it’s confidential.

Here’s how to create a Channel on your phone:

● Open WhatsApp on your phone, and go to the Updates tab.
● Tap the Plus, and select New channel.
● Tap Get started and accept updates to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to continue.
● Add your preferred channel name to finish creating your channel. You can choose to change the name again at any time.
● Customise your channel: You can do this by adding a description and icon.
● Add a channel description: Write a few words to help potential followers understand what your channel is about.
● Add a channel icon/image.
● Tap Create channel, and you’re done!

To get to your channel info page:

● Open Channels by clicking the Channels icon.
● Click your channel, and then your channel name.
● Click Copy link.

Being that statistics have ranked WhatsApp as the most popular social app in Kenya, analysts say channels offer a great opportunity for organisations and communities to stay in touch with their audiences and offer them the necessary updates.