WhatsApp launches voice updates and polls for Channels

WhatsApp is upgrading its broadcasting feature Channels with new abilities such as voice updates, polls, and additional admins.

The company said Channel owners can now voice updates to followers. This could be great for engagement, especially for folks with podcasts, who can put out teasers from episodes. WhatsApp noted that its 2 billion user base sends 7 billion voice messages daily.

Additionally, channel owners can post polls to the channels. Previously, the only way to engage with a post on a channel was by reacting with emojis.

The company is also rolling out the ability to share Channel updates to personal WhatsApp Status — the chat app’s Stories feature. Instagram has a similar feature to let users add posts from Channels to their Stories. It’s a neat way for Channel admins to inform people in their network about their Channel.

In June 2023, WhatsApp first launched the Channels feature in Singapore and Columbia, and later in September 2023 rolled it out globally. At that time, the app allowed only one admin per channel. But now, the Meta-owned company will allow up to 16 admins per channel. The owner can invite other folks to become admins through the “Invite admins” option on the channel description page.

WhatsApp noted that Channels have grown quickly and over 500 million people are using it. It didn’t specify if this was a monthly or a daily active user number.

Last month, Telegram added channel discovery and customization features including allowing users to post channel updates to their stories to its app.

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