WhatsApp Channel

What Is A WhatsApp Channel? Can It Become A Digital Marketing Essential?



It’s undoubtedly true that Meta has completely changed the landscape for digital marketing. Zuckerberg’s attempt to turn Meta and Instagram into viable digital marketing platforms has succeeded so far. Therefore, it’s about time he does that with WhatsApp as well, with the addition of a WhatsApp Channel.

So, what is a WhatsApp Channel? How can this new WhatsApp update change WhatsApp marketing forever? Let’s find out!

What Is A WhatsApp Channel?

What Is A WhatsApp Channel
A private way to follow pages

If you have never checked out WhatsApp stories (nowhere as popular as Instagram stories), then you probably haven’t come across this WhatsApp new update.

WhatsApp Channel is the latest addition to WhatsApp. Channels serve as direct, one-way messaging tools for brands and celebrities. Millions of people can follow these channels.

However, only the owner of the channel can post in the channel. In addition, users (followers) can only react to these posts and share them. You cannot comment on them.

Therefore, the primary purpose of a WhatsApp channel is to notify followers of the latest news. Brands can make this their hub for the latest news, while celebrities can simply post photos and videos about them (similar to their Instagram pages). Therefore, it acts as an online support group.

If you haven’t noticed already, the WhatsApp “Updates” tab (between Chats and Calls) replaced the older “Status” tab. If you click on it, you will see the status updated by your contacts, along with a list of the WhatsApp channels that you are following. You can then click on these channels to see all the latest posts.

Main Features Of A WhatsApp Channel

The primary features of a WhatsApp Channel are:

1. Enhanced WhatsApp Directory

Enhanced WhatsApp Directory
The WhatsApp Directory is better now thanks to WhatsApp Channels

When you open the new “Updates” tab on WhatsApp, you will already find some WhatsApp Channel recommendations. You will get filtered recommendations based on your country.

Therefore, you will see pages of musical artists, actors, and brands from your country here first. In addition, after you start following some channels, you will get personalized recommendations based on the type of channels you follow.

2. Follower Reactions

Follower Reactions
You might not be able to comment, but you definitely can react

If you open any WhatsApp channel you follow, you will notice that you cannot comment on the posts. Instead, you can only react to them. Under the posts, you will see the total number of reactions it got.

However, the channel owners cannot see the names of the people who have reacted to their posts.

3. Post Forwarding Link

In addition to reacting to channel posts, you can share them with your saved contacts. However, when you do so, they will find an additional link, which they can click on to enter the WhatsApp channel directly.

4. 30-Day Post Expiry

If you have a WhatsApp channel and post on it, it will be viewable on the channel for 30 days. After a month, it disappears into the abyss. Therefore, they are like Snapchat Snaps, lasting for 30 days instead of just one day.

How To Create A WhatsApp Channel?

Creating and following a WhatsApp Channel is easy

Creating a WhatsApp Channel is easy. You can do it from all three supported devices – Android, iOS, and computers (WhatsApp Web). 

Therefore, if you wish to create a WhatsApp Channel, follow these steps:

  1. First, update WhatsApp and open it.
  2. Then, go to the Updates tab.
  3. Next, click on the “+” icon below the section where you see the status of your saved contacts.
  4. Now, click on the “New Channel” option.
  5. Here, you must enter your WhatsApp Channel name and a brief description of it. In addition, you also need to upload your WhatsApp channel picture.
  6. Once you finish the step naive, click the  “Create Channel” option and start posting!

How To Follow A WhatsApp Channel?

As a user, you can follow your favorite WhatsApp Channel to get updates and information daily. All you must do here is to go to the “Updates” tab and scroll down to get recommendations.

If you want to follow a specific WhatsApp Channel, then here’s what you must do:

  1. First, open WhatsApp.
  2. Then, go to the Updates tab.
  3. Next, click on the “+” icon below the section where you see the status of your saved contacts.
  4. Now click on the “Find Channel” option.
  5. Once you click on the option above, you will see a list of all recommended channels. You may follow any of you want here. Otherwise, click on the Search icon (magnifying glass) at the top right corner of the screen and search for the channel you want to follow. 
  6. Once you find the channel you wish to follow, click on the “+” icon on the right side of their name to start following them! Additionally, you may click on the channel name to open it and then press the “Follow” button on the top-right corner of the screen.

How To Unfollow A WhatsApp Channel?

Unfollowing a WhatsApp channel is easy. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. First, open WhatsApp.
  2. Then, go to the Updates tab.
  3. Now, click on the WhatsApp Channel you are following and open it. 
  4. Next, click on the Options icon (three vertical dots) on the top-right corner of the screen.
  5. Select the “Unfollow” option here. After you do so, press “OK” to confirm your decision.

Can Brands Use Their WhatsApp Channel For Digital Marketing?

Can Brands Use Their WhatsApp Channel For Digital Marketing
Did Meta just create another digital marketing platform

Similar to using any other digital marketing platform like Instagram, X, and TikTok, brands can use their WhatsApp channel in the same vein. 

Using your brand WhatsApp Channel, you can post content like:

  • New product and service announcements
  • News and links to new content you publish on other platforms (like YouTube videos and new blogs)
  • Update your customers about new sales and deals

However, since it’s a new feature, it cannot compete with other digital platforms and stand out as a viable digital marketing platform. Its current limitations are:

1. No Discoverability And Visibility

One of the most significant limitations noticed by veteran digital marketers is the fact that discoverability is nonexistent. Compared to other Meta platforms, channels, and their posts are likely to be discovered by users if you actively search for them.

2. Lower Engagement

As of now, users can only react to your posts on your WhatsApp channel and share them as well. Therefore, since you cannot comment on them, engagement levels are low. 

However, this offset is characterized by the fact that channels are meant to redirect people to their websites, not act as an active engagement tool.

3. No Analytical Insights

No Analytical Insights
Do you even know what you are doing with no analytical insights

Are your WhatsApp Channel posts performing well? Sadly, you won’t be able to tell because no analytical tools can measure it. You only have your post reactions to gauge it as of now.

4. No Monetization Plans

No Monetization Plans
No revenue, so maybe it’s not worth it

If you thought you could monetize your content on your WhatsApp channel, you felt a bit too ahead. Since there is no space for ads to show up here, there’s no way to generate revenue.

Final Verdict: Can WhatsApp Channels Become A Digital Marketing Essential?

As of now, my answer will be no – a WhatsApp channel cannot become an essential tool for digital marketing.

However, this is based on what benefits a WhatsApp channel provides. It’s something new recently introduced by Meta, which has a lot of potential to make it relevant for digital marketers. 

Currently, it’s just a redirection tool that helps users find the main content – if they follow the channel first.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of WhatsApp channels!

More Resources:

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Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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