Readers of Sheet can now receive news bulletins through the newspaper’s WhatsApp channel, a tool launched by Meta this Wednesday (13) in Brazil that allows one-way sending of messages. It can be accessed at this link.
On channels, creators can distribute links, text, images and videos, as well as create polls for an unlimited number of participants. The feature competes with a similar tool from Telegram.
The publications will not appear in the conversation feed, but rather in a new tab, “Updates”, which also covers statuses published by other users. Unlike the Russian platform, however, participants cannot comment on posts, only react to them with emojis.
The creation of channels is still restricted to some Meta partners in Brazil, such as the Ministry of Finance, Conmebol and presenter Luciano Huck. The function will be made available to any user in the coming months, the company said without specifying the date.
According to the company, the objective of the tool is to offer the broadcast service with the greatest privacy on the market. Therefore, the channel creator’s phone number and profile photo will not be disclosed, nor will participant data be accessible to the moderator. Users will also not be able to see which channels are followed by other people.
WhatsApp also promises that there will be no interference from the platform over which channels will be presented to users. “There will be no recommendation, no algorithm saying ‘if you liked this channel, you might like this one'”, explains Guilherme Horn, head of strategic markets.
On the other hand, three lists will inform users which are the most active channels, the most recent and those with the highest number of users.
Channel history will only be stored for up to 30 days. Administrators will also have the option to block screenshots and forwards in the channel. They will also be able to decide who can and cannot follow the channel, and whether they want the channel to be discovered in search.
According to the platform, the exchange of private messages between friends, family and communities will continue to be the main function of WhatsApp. Meta also says that the transmission lists and communities recently created by the network will not be extinguished either, but the creation of the channels is a step in the wake of a request that users have been making for years and which has had positive results in the countries where the company has already tested the tool.