Meta Platforms unveiled a new broadcasting feature for WhatsApp which allows users to receive video and news updates from official accounts without exposing phone numbers.
In a blog post, the company stated the Channels feature will be hosted in an updates tab featuring media from accounts a user chooses to follow.
Once launched, news and video, polls and stickers will be available to view. Similar services are already available to content creators and official accounts from various social media services.
Meta Platforms noted it hopes “to build the most private broadcast service available”, as the phone numbers of users and channel creators will remain private.
The service is being promoted as a one-way broadcast tool with content providers able to block screenshots and forwarding of their material.
A search directory is being developed for users to identify accounts they want to follow. Official channels will also be accessible through invitation links.
The feature’s launch markets will be Colombia and Singapore, though no firm dates were disclosed. Wider rollout is expected “over the coming months”.