WhatsApp channels: how they work and how to sign up

WhatsApp channels are the latest addition to the popular app , introduced in mid-2023. The introduction of channels brought a significant change to the WhatsApp interface, transforming the “Status” tab into “Updates”. This new feature gives users the ability to share information more effectively with a broader audience. Channel administrators cannot see the identities of subscribers or their phone numbers. Likewise, members cannot see other users' profile information. More features for channel administrators will be added in the future.

How to create WhatsApp channels

To create a WhatsApp channel, you need to follow some simple steps. The procedure is the same both for an Android phone, for an iPhone and with WhatsApp Web on the PC . Once WhatsApp is launched on your device, tap on the “Updates” tab. Click the “+” button and select “New Channel” (or “Create Channel” on WhatsApp Web). Enter the name of your Channel and personalize it with a description and an image (they can also be added later) . Tap “Create Channel” to complete the setup. Updates can now be uploaded to the new WhatsApp channel. Updates are one-way messages that Channel subscribers will be able to view.

whatsapp channels

WhatsApp channels can be opened in different ways. You can browse the list of available channels in the directory, selecting country, category and other filter options. Alternatively, you can check the recommended channels on the “Updates” tab. Finally, you can find a Channel via an external link shared by the Channel administrator. You can also search for a specific channel using the search field above by entering the channel name. Channels authenticated by WhatsApp will show a green check mark next to their name.

How to subscribe or delete a WhatsApp channel

Once you find a channel that interests you, you can easily subscribe in several ways:

  • Tap the “+” button next to the Channel name in the directory.
  • Open the Channel and tap “Subscribe” at the top right.
  • Sign up from the Channel information page.

To receive notifications about channel updates, make sure to turn on notifications for that specific channel. Subscribed people cannot see who else is subscribed to the channel, thus ensuring user privacy . As for deleting a WhatsApp channel, it is a permanent process, so once deleted it cannot be restored. Subscribers will still be able to view past Updates, but the Channel will no longer be active and will not accept new subscribers. To delete one of your WhatsApp channels, open the channel, click on the name and select "Delete Channel".

whatsapp channels

How to use WhatsApp channels

What are the possibilities offered by WhatsApp channels? Announcements published by the channel administrator are called "Updates". Followers can interact with messages shared by administrators, similar to interaction in standard WhatsApp chats . Simply tap and hold a message to select an emoji that expresses your reaction. Messages can be forwarded from channels to group chats or conversations with your contacts. Recipients will see the content of the message and a link to access the channel themselves. WhatsApp offers intuitive organization of the channels you follow. These appear in a separate section, separate from standard chats, for more efficient management . Additionally, you have several options to filter the feed, allowing you to see the newest channels, the most active ones, or the ones with the most followers at the top of the list.

WhatsApp automatically filters channels by country, so those from your country will be shown first. Additionally, WhatsApp channels do not implement end-to-end encryption . Subscribers can view all updates shared since joining the channel. Even people who are not subscribed to the channel can access the contents, but only up to a maximum of 30 days from the date of publication of the updates. The WhatsApp platform has the ability to verify the compliance of the contents published in the channels with its Guidelines. To maintain subscriber interest and ensure effective communication across channels, it is advisable to follow some best practices. These include creating useful content and updates with concise text focused on a specific topic.

The article WhatsApp channels: how they work and how to sign up was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .