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‘Channels’ and ‘HD Photos’: All you need to know about WhatsApp’s new features

WhatsApp would store channel history on their servers for up to 30 days and will add ways to make updates disappear even faster from followers' devices

Meta-owned WhatsApp has now launched a new feature called “Channels” within the messaging app for broadcast messaging, in a simple, reliable and private way to receive important updates from people and organisations.

The social media company said that it was building Channels in a new tab called ‘Updates’, where users will find statuses and channels they choose to follow, separate from their chats with family, friends and communities.

“Channels are a one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers, and polls. To help you select channels to follow, we’re building a searchable directory where you can find your hobbies, sports teams, updates from local officials, and more,” WhatsApp said in a blog post.

Users can also get to a channel from invite links sent in chats, e-mails or posted online.

To protect the personal information of both admins and followers, the company also said that as a channel admin, their phone number and profile photo won’t be shown to followers. Likewise, following a channel won’t reveal their phone number to the admin or other followers either.

WhatsApp would store channel history on their servers for up to 30 days and will add ways to make updates disappear even faster from followers’ devices. Admins will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards from their channels. Channels will not be end-to-end encrypted by default as the aim of Channels is to reach a wide audience.

“We do think there are some cases where end-to-end encrypted channels to a limited audience might make sense, such as a non-profit or health organisation, and we are exploring this as a future option as well,” the messaging app remarked.

With this feature, the tech giant now believes that there is an opportunity to support WhatsApp group admins in a way, which will help the latter to build businesses around their channels using their expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness.

WhatsApp is launching Channels in select markets, Colombia and Singapore, while stating that it would bring Channels to more parts of the world.

Along with ‘Channels’, WhatsApp has also launched another new feature called ‘HD Photos’.

With this feature, users can now send high-quality images without compromising their original dimensions.

While the new WhatsApp HD Photo feature is not yet available to all users, beta testers will soon have access to this tool, as per the reports.

Till recently, image quality used to suffer in the vent of photos getting shared on WhatsApp. The reason was the change in the pixels and the image size while sharing it on the messaging platform. The new HD feature will solve this issue, as the users in the coming days will be able to choose between HD Quality and Standard Quality for the same photo, before sharing it on WhatsApp.

The photo will be tagged as HD after it gets shared with the recipient using the HD quality feature.

Image Credits: Whatsapp

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