Latest WhatsApp update: What you need to know about Mark Zuckerberg’s WhatsApp Channel launch globally

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announces WhatsApp Channels launch for 150 countries. l SUPPLIED/META

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announces WhatsApp Channels launch for 150 countries. l SUPPLIED/META

Published Sep 14, 2023


Meta founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has announced WhatsApp Channels globally to more than 150 countries.

Channels promises to be a new private way to view updates and communicate with people and organisations within the instant messaging app.

“We’re excited to introduce you all to WhatsApp Channels, a new private way for you to get updates from people and organisations you follow,” Zuckerberg said.

“I’m starting this channel to share Meta news and updates. Looking forward to connecting with you all around the world.”

Meta also has more ambitious plans for its instant messaging app’s new functionality by making Channels more private and secure, building off WhatsApp’s security.

“If you’re new to Channels, our goal is to build the most private broadcast service available,” Meta said in a statement.

“Channels are separate from your chats, and who you choose to follow is not visible to other followers. We also protect the personal information of both admins and followers.”

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announces WhatsApp Channels launch for 150 countries. l SUPPLIED

Meta has also said that it intends to protect the personal information of admins and users and, by following a channel. User phone numbers will not be visible to the admin or other followers.

The privacy of which channels users follow will also be maintained.

The company also added that Channel updates and history will only be on Meta servers for up to 30 days before being deleted.

WhatsApp users making use of Channels can expect enhanced functionality, including:


Users can now react within Channels using emojis to give feedback and see a count of total reactions, anonymously.


Admins will soon be able to make changes to Updates for up to 30 days, once automatically deleted from Meta servers.


Channels will be automatically filtered based on country while users will also be able to view channels that are new, most active, and popular based on following.


Users will be able to forward Updates to chats or groups, which will include a link back to the channel so people can find out more.

Independent WhatsApp reporting blog WABetaInfo said that Channels would be available within the “Status” tab, which has since been renamed to “Updates” for some users.

“In this section, users can follow new channels among those recommended by WhatsApp, or simply by exploring the list of all available verified channels,” the blog reported.

“Following a channel is always private, so your phone number is always hidden and other followers cannot see you following the channel, but channel admins can see that you follow their channel in case they’re in your contacts list.”