Meta-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature called “channels”, a new one-to-many tool for broadcasting information on iOS.
A WhatsApp channel is essentially a private tool in which phone numbers and user information are always kept private.
Messages received within a channel are not end-to-end encrypted because the concept of one-to-many makes little sense for channels, according to the report.
The report further pointed out that as “this is an optional extension of private messaging rather than pivoting to a public social network, people can choose which channels they want to follow and no one else can see who they follow, regardless of whether they have added them as contacts or not.”
The channels feature will also accept handles, allowing users to find a certain WhatsApp channel by just typing their username into WhatsApp.
“This feature is intended to increase channel accessibility, making it easier for users to receive updates that they like. Channels are currently under development and they will be released in a future update of the app,” the report said.
Furthermore, WhatsApp is also planning to rename the Status tab “Updates” in order to include channels within this section, according to the reports.
Earlier this year, Facebook parent Meta launched a broadcast Channels feature on Instagram. “Broadcast channels are a public, one-to-many messaging tool for creators to directly engage with their followers at scale,” the company said.