WhatsApp expands Channels to over 150 countries

Whatsapp channels list screen
(Image credit: Meta)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp Channels gain a bunch of new features as part of its global rollout, such as the ability to react using emojis.
  • Channel admins also have a new option to edit updates for up to 30 days, after which they will be deleted.
  • The directory has also been improved to automatically filter Channels you can follow based on your country.

WhatsApp's challenger to Telegram's Channels feature is going global, allowing a select few users and brands to create a one-way broadcast outlet for their followers.

The service announced today that the feature will be rolled out to over 150 countries in the coming months. In conjunction with the global rollout, WhatsApp Channels have also gained a slew of new features, including the ability to react using emojis.

Emoji reactions were recently spotted on the beta version of WhatsApp for Android. The platform won't show your reaction to the rest of the followers, although anyone can see the number and type of reactions given to a specific update.

The ability to send emoji reactions is a great way to interact with channels and let the admins know what you think about their content. On the other hand, some of our favorite messaging apps, like Telegram, allow you to leave a comment for a specific Channel update on top of emoji reactions, assuming the admin enables it.

When you forward an update to WhatsApp chats or groups, recipients will see a link that will take them to the channel where the original update was posted.

Furthermore, WhatsApp admins can edit their updates for up to 30 days. After this time, updates will be deleted automatically, a feature that has been in place since the feature's initial release in a few countries in June.

Whatsapp channel list screen

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta says thousands of organizations, sports teams, artists, and thought leaders are hopping onboard, including Olivia Rodrigo, MLB, David Guetta, and Mark Zuckerberg. You should be seeing recommendations of Channels to follow, although this will be filtered based on your country.

Channels that are new, most active, and popular will also be visible based on their number of followers. For the time being, only certain individuals and brands will be able to create a Channel, but Meta vows to bring this capability to everyone in the coming months.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.