Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, is launching “Channels,” a broadcast-based messaging feature on the popular messaging app. Similar to an update previously released on Instagram, Channels allows entities such as NGOs, medical research institutions, and fact-checking bodies to send one-way text, photo, and video messages to users.
Messages will be deleted after 30 days, and the company is not keeping a record of them. The feature is launching first in Colombia and Singapore, with plans to expand to other countries. Meta is also exploring possibilities for monetizing the feature, including payment services for businesses and the ability to promote channels in the directory. The goal of Channels is to make it easier for organizations and authorities to issue updates and alerts to WhatsApp’s 2 billion users.