It is, so far, the Meta Suite app that has at least deviated from its primary vocation: being a messaging app. Since last week, WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature that brings a big change. In 150 countries, including France, “Channels” (or “Channels” in English) will allow you to follow news of personalities, brands and media.
After a trial in a limited number of countries, WhatsApp will make this functionality very similar to Telegram channels accessible to everyone, or even to the channels launched in the spring on Instagram (which also belong to Meta). The concept is the same: Creators will be able to post messages, photos and videos in a one-way flow, which subscribers can only interact with with emojis.
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On the other hand, there is one function that distinguishes WhatsApp channels from their Instagram counterparts: in addition to the presentation in the form of messages, the new “Updates” tab of the application will be displayed in the form of a feed displaying the latest messages from followed pages. The news feed is therefore very close to what Facebook or X (formerly Twitter) offers.
Currently, only specific users, mostly public figures, can launch their channel. But Meta promises that all users will be able to use this function “in the coming months,” without specifying when. So this is a real paradigm shift for the app, making it a little closer to a classic social network. So far, only the very little-used “status” function, similar to Instagram or Snapchat Stories, provides such a dimension on WhatsApp. The app promises that this functionality will remain completely separate from messaging, and that your contacts won’t be able to see which channels you follow.
Security and advertising
It is also an opportunity for WhatsApp to unlock more funds for monetization. Currently, it is impossible for WhatsApp to broadcast advertisements or promotional posts, as is the case on Facebook and Instagram. Use the WhatsApp Business software, offered to professionals, to use WhatsApp to open the argent, the rest of the application is very suitable for users – and the encryption of the conversations in but does not allow you to collect this information for this. advertisement. The company also plans to maintain this end-to-end channel encryption.For example in the case of a non-profit or health organisation“.
“We’re also thinking about a way for admins to leverage their channels using our payment services, as well as potentially promoting specific channels in the directory to increase their visibility.“, Meta explained in June While trying the channels. In other words, by paying, it will be possible to rise better in the search results or in the news feed. While WhatsApp appears more and more as an application seeking to diversify its communication functions, this new way of using it may make it a real competitor to Instagram, or even to X, which claims to have become “the application for everyone.”