5 ways to use Channels within WhatsApp

WhatsApp already toyed with the idea back in 2017, but it has now decided to finally bring Channels to the masses. WhatsApp Messenger now comes with a new feature that draws it more towards social media platform like Discord and Telegram. This way you can become a member of a specific channel. These are 5 ways you can use the Channels within WhatsApp.

New feature of WhatsApp

Before we dive into the applications we can think of for Channels, it is useful to take a moment to think about what it is exactly. Channels is a new section that will appear under ‘Status’. That tab will therefore also be given a different name, namely ‘Updates’. You can create a Channel and people can then join it by searching a large database full of channels. You can also generate a link to your channel, so that you can, for example, call on friends and family to follow your channel. Furthermore, in channels you can do exactly what you are used to in regular WhatsApp: tap texts and add photos, videos, stickers and polls.

Your channel does not necessarily have to be ‘public’. Meta says: “Finally, we are making it possible for admins to decide who can follow their channel and whether they want their channel to be found in the directory or not. Because Channels aims to reach a wide audience, channels are not end-to-end encrypted by default. We do think there are some cases where end-to-end encrypted channels make sense for a limited audience, such as for a non-profit or health organization, and we’re exploring this as a future option as well.”

You can use Channels for this

These are ways in which Channels can be used in the future, for example:

1. For announcements from the football club

Of course you can make an announcement about a team change or the search for a substitute in a group conversation where everyone can respond, but it’s better to do that in a place where no one can respond. That way people will approach you privately and you will therefore only have reactions that are -probably- serious.

2. As an internal communication channel for a company

Of course you can have an internal site, very useful, but in a world where everyone does everything in apps on smartphones (and everyone uses WhatsApp), it is simply easier to use WhatsApp. You can just add photos and more to the coverage, so it’s not just plain, boring text.

3. To learn more about languages

You can also imagine that someone who knows a language very well wants to share tips about it. Whether it concerns Dutch language tips or a sentence in a certain language every day (to learn it): we can well imagine that people want to teach each other things. Maybe a dinosaur fact or a tip to use WhatsApp every day (nice meta): there is a lot to learn, if only the administrators do their best.

4. To get updates on specific news

For example, if something big happens, like an election or a disaster, a channel can be good for getting updates. How are the counts doing, where can people report missing persons? Channels can play a major role in this. Twitter has proven how fast social media can be in emergency situations and WhatsApp can also play a role in that.

5. For the weather forecast

The weather forecast is typically something you want to know every day: how useful would it be if there was a message every day at a specific time with exactly what the weather is like (and yes, whether you can wear shorts or not) ? And if there is a code yellow, an extra message can be posted. We want this, so hopefully there will soon be an Amara Onwukaatje among the WhatsApp enthusiasts to make such a channel.

Initially, Channels will only be available in Colombia and Singapore, so it will take a small period to continue testing. It will be coming to more countries in the coming months

Laura Jenny

When she’s not tapping, she’s traveling around the wonderful world of entertainment or some cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life,…

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