WhatsApp Channels introduced in India; Katrina Kaif, Indian Cricket Team now on board

WhatsApp Channels is the latest feature on the instant messaging app to come to India. Introducing it, Mark Zuckerberg said it’s a “new private way for you to get updates from people and organizations you follow”.

| Updated on: Sep 14 2023, 10:52 IST
In brief: Top 5 WhatsApp Business partners
WhatsApp Channels
1/6 Thanks to the Business API and software development kit, WhatsApp Business capabilities are now accessible to developers. With the help of the WhatsApp API, several small and big businesses can now sell their products in a better way. (Divya / HT Tech)
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2/6 Gupshup is one of those options! It is a conversational messaging platform that processes over 6 billion messages each month. It provides a comprehensive conversational experience-building toolkit for any use case, and a network of growing market relationships with messaging channels, device makers, ISVs, and operators. (Gupshup)
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3/6 Another option is Haptik, which is a conversational commerce firm that can create WhatsApp chatbots to automate client interactions, conduct transactions, and gather leads by sending customized alerts. (Haptik / Twitter)
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4/6 Yellow AI: While browsing through product categories, customers have the ability to engage with businesses by placing orders, adjusting quantities, cancelling orders, and requesting returns. (Yellow AI / Twitter)
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5/6 Twilio: It can be altered to suit your company's requirements. Features can be added or removed according to the need. An omnichannel contact centre, SMS marketing, push notifications, web chat, call monitoring, phone verification, alerts and notifications, and much more can be built using Twilio. (Twilio / Twitter)
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6/6 WATI: It is an authorized WhatsApp Business Solution Provider that enables companies to automate business communication using chatbots and other cutting-edge technology. A shared inbox is one such unique solution that enables companies to respond to client inquiries instantly and improve client engagement. (Bloomberg)
WhatsApp Channels
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Know all about the WhatsApp Channels feature. (Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook)

In June, Meta-owned Instagram platform rolled out a feature called Broadcast Channels, where you could join one-way groups of celebrities, influencers, world leaders, and other notable personalities. By joining these groups, you can receive private updates from those who follow them. While other users cannot respond, they can react to the messages. This way, you could have access to these people and what they want to say, without them feeling overwhelmed by the large number of people following them. The feature was intended to give celebrities and people with large numbers of followers a way to directly communicate with them. Now, after a popular reception of this feature, it was added to another Meta app, WhatsApp, and now it has been introduced in India as well.

The WhatsApp Channel feature was rolled out globally just hours ago and it was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Introducing the feature, he posted on Facebook, “Today we're starting to roll out WhatsApp Channels globally and adding thousands of new channels that people can follow in WhatsApp. You can find Channels in the new 'Updates' tab”.

Some of the most notable personalities to roll out their WhatsApp Channels in synch with the launch include the Indian Cricket Team, Katrina Kaif, Diljit Dosanjh, Akshay Kumar, Vijay Deverakonda, Neha Kakkar and many others.

Launching the official Indian Cricket Team WhatsApp Channel, BCCI, said “The Indian Cricket team is thrilled to partner with WhatsApp on the launch of Channels. We kick-off our partnership with WhatsApp with the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 which is set to begin in October. We will leverage Channels to generate excitement and support as India gets ready to host the marquee event after a decade-long wait. With WhatsApp Channels, fans will be aware of important and accurate information and news around match schedules, timings, scorecards etc. Get on WhatsApp channels and never miss out on updates from on and off the field”.

WhatsApp Channels is here

According to the press release shared by the company, the WhatsApp Channels will function similarly to Instagram Channels. However, there is a catch. There is no way for WhatsApp users to search for others. But this feature is going to change that. WhatsApp said, “You can now find channels to follow that are automatically filtered based on your country. You can also view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on number of followers”.

Alongside this, users can also react to the updates. While group members and the admin both can see the total number of reactions and which emojis were sent, neither the admin nor the members will be able to see who sent the reactions. Whenever an admin forwards an Update to chats or groups it will include a link back to the channel so people can find out more.

Who a person chooses to follow will not be visible to anyone else. Channels can be found in a new tab called Updates - where users will find the Status and channels they choose to follow.

Vishvas News, the fact-checking website, has also rolled out its WhatsApp Channel after the launch of the feature. According to its report, the Channel will get the “latest fact-checks, and explainers in both video and multimedia formats”. Additionally, it will also issue alerts to keep users safe from harmful misinformation. 

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First Published Date: 13 Sep, 20:53 IST