WhatsApp, the ubiquitous messaging platform, has undergone a remarkable transformation since its acquisition by Meta (formerly known as Facebook). One of the latest milestones in its journey is the introduction of “Channels,” a feature designed to provide users with a new way to connect with celebrities, influencers, and organizations. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of WhatsApp since its acquisition by Meta and how this latest addition, WhatsApp Channels, fits into the platform’s evolution.
What is WhatsApp Channels?
One of the most significant developments in WhatsApp’s history post-acquisition is the introduction of WhatsApp Channels. This feature, inspired by the likes of Telegram, offers a one-way broadcast tool that allows users to follow their favourite celebrities, news outlets, influencers, and more. WhatsApp Channels creates a private and unidirectional channel for content dissemination, allowing users to receive updates without sharing their phone numbers publicly. Mark Zuckerberg himself took to WhatsApp Channels to announce the new feature. In his inaugural message on the platform, he stated, “WhatsApp Channels, a new private way for you to get updates from people and organizations you follow. I’m starting this channel to share Meta news and updates. Looking forward to connecting with you all around the world.” This marked a significant moment in the evolution of WhatsApp as it embraced a more public-facing, content-sharing aspect.
Privacy at the Core
A notable aspect of WhatsApp Channels is its commitment to privacy. Unlike some other social media platforms, WhatsApp Channels ensures that members’ phone numbers are not visible to the public, preserving the user’s privacy. This approach aligns with WhatsApp’s long-standing dedication to end-to-end encryption and user data protection.
Nigerian Influencer, Brainjotter, Leads the Pack
At the launch of WhatsApp Channels, the platform gained immediate traction. The largest account on the community belonged to Nigerian influencer Brainjotter, who amassed an impressive 974,000 followers. This highlighted the potential of WhatsApp Channels as a platform for influencers and content creators to connect with their audiences on a broader scale.