WhatsApp Channels now available in Malaysia


Channels that users join will be muted by default; users will have to manually unmute each channel they join in order to receive notifications. — Meta

Following an announcement early last month, WhatsApp is finally officially rolling out the Channels feature to Malaysian users.

For the unaware, WhatsApp Channels function similarly to Telegram channels, where users can join a channel to receive updates from people and organisations via messages containing text, images, videos, stickers, and polls.

This could range from a government agency to sports teams, which can use the feature to broadcast one-way messages to followers.

Channels that users join will be muted by default; users will have to manually unmute each channel they join in order to receive notifications.

The addition of the feature replaces the Status tab in the messaging app with an Updates tab instead, though users will still be able to update their status in the tab. Channels followed by the user will also be listed under the Updates tab.

Users can browse and view the updates in any channel before following them. They also have the option of joining a channel via links shared in chats, emails, or online posts.

Admins of the channel will be able to view the name and profile picture of the users who follow them, but not their phone numbers. Regular users will not be able to see any information about other users.

Messages sent via the Channels feature will only be stored by WhatsApp for 30 days before being deleted.

WhatsApp says that it has worked with a number of local organisations to give them access to the feature prior to its launch.

They include the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp and the Badminton World Federation.

The Communications and Digital Ministry has also created a channel on WhatsApp.

The feature was originally announced on June 8.

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