WhatsApp Channels have arrived, providing both individual users and businesses with fresh opportunities for broadcasting messages. Essentially, this means businesses have an innovative method to employ WhatsApp for marketing purposes. We’ll dive into what WhatsApp channels are, their functionality, and how businesses can leverage them. Here is a complete guide to help you start with WhatsApp channels. Read below!
What is a WhatsApp Channel?
A WhatsApp Channel is a tool that companies use to send messages to lots of customers all at once. It’s like a broadcast, which makes talking to customers simpler and saves time and effort. Instead of sending lots of individual messages, a company can send one message to reach everyone at the same time.
Businesses can use this to share important news, and updates about products, introduce new items, offer special deals, and give out company news. Communicating this way directly with customers can help them feel more connected to the company and more aware of the brand.
How Does a WhatsApp Channel Work?
Just like Telegram’s channels or Instagram’s Broadcast Channels, you can follow famous people, creators, and businesses on WhatsApp Channels to stay updated with their latest news. These channels are kept separate from your regular chats. Instead, you’ll find them in a special area where you also see status updates.
In this section, you can check out the Channels (WhatsApp might even suggest some to you) and also look at status updates. Right now, not many people use status updates, but by putting them with the channels, they might get noticed more.
There’s also a way to search for channels you might like to follow. For example, you can look for channels about your hobbies, favorite sports teams, or local news. This makes it easy to find and follow channels that interest you.
You can also get into these channels through special links that you can share in chats, emails, or on other online platforms.
This search feature, which works like the search bar on Telegram, is really helpful for companies because it makes it easier for people to find them.
The messages in the channel will only be kept for up to 30 days on WhatsApp’s servers. The people in charge of the channels can choose to stop others from taking screenshots or forwarding messages from their channels. There will soon be more options for users to quickly remove status updates from their devices.
How to Create a WhatsApp Channel?
Anyone, whether you’re just a regular person or a business, can make a WhatsApp channel.
If you’re a regular user or an influencer, you can use the normal WhatsApp app to do this. But, if you’re a business, you need to use the WhatsApp Business App.
You can create a new channel right on your phone (it works for both iPhones and Android phones) or on your computer using WhatsApp Web. Just remember: it’s important to have the latest version of the app.
The Limitations of a WhatsApp Channel
WhatsApp Channels are a new feature on the world’s most popular social media network that lets you send messages to a lot of people. They can help you reach more people, but they have some limitations, especially if you want to use them for marketing in your business.
- You can’t personalize your messages: Everyone gets the same message, and you can’t choose different messages for different groups of people.
- No back-and-forth conversation: You can only send out messages. Users can’t reply or interact with these messages.
- People might not see your messages: Unless users are set up to get notifications from you (which isn’t the default setting), they have to actively check a special tab to see your messages. And if your message isn’t one of the most recent ones, they might miss it.
- No automatic features: WhatsApp Channels don’t have things like chatbots or templates for planning or running big campaigns.
- Not as effective: With so many messages, WhatsApp Channels might start to feel like a crowded email inbox, and you might not get as many people opening or clicking on your messages compared to regular WhatsApp broadcasts.
- Can’t track how well your messages do: Right now, there’s no way to see how many people are reading or interacting with your messages on WhatsApp Channels.
- Not completely private: WhatsApp Channels don’t have the same high level of privacy protection as normal WhatsApp messages, so be careful if you’re sharing sensitive business information.
However, WhatsApp Channels can still be useful for marketing. If you just want to spread information or reach more people as a business or influencer, it could be a helpful tool. Some businesses are already using it successfully.
What are the guidelines for a WhatsApp Channel Admin?
Here are a few guidelines for using a WhatsApp channel:
“Channel admins should be respectful of their followers and avoid sending too many or low-quality updates which could lead recipients to unfollow their Channel. Channel admins should provide a title for their Channel that reflects the Channel content and helps users make informed choices about which Channels they would choose to follow.”
When you post content in your WhatsApp channels, you need to follow certain rules:
- Don’t post or do anything illegal. This means no sharing of harmful content, especially anything that harms children or supports terrorist or criminal groups. Also, don’t use other people’s work without permission.
- Don’t share things that could hurt people. This includes threats, promoting violence or crime, or encouraging harmful actions like suicide. Don’t post anything that exploits people, like human trafficking, or anything that shows or promotes sexual violence.
- Don’t trick or cheat people. This includes lying, pretending to be someone else, or scamming others.
- Make sure your content is okay for all ages. Don’t include very violent or sexual images or anything else that’s not allowed by app stores. Also, don’t use your channel for adult services or selling banned or restricted items.
WhatsApp checks channels to make sure they follow these rules. They use automatic tools, manual checks, and user reports. If you break the rules, WhatsApp might warn you, stop your channel from updating, remove your content, ban your channel, or even report you to the authorities. Users can also report any rule-breaking they see.
Is Message on a WhatsApp Channel Free?
After WhatsApp changed how much it costs businesses to send messages, their new WhatsApp Channels look like a less expensive option for sending out messages. Right now, it seems to be free for everyone, including businesses, who can use it with the free WhatsApp Business App.
However, it’s not clear if it will always be free. WhatsApp might be using this as a way to attract more businesses to their WhatsApp Business platform, and then later, they might introduce paid features for them to use.
WhatsApp Channels are handy, especially for businesses and influencers who want to share information, updates, and promotions with a wide range of people quickly and easily. While there are some limitations, like not being able to personalize messages for different groups or track how well your messages are doing, WhatsApp Channels can still be a powerful tool for spreading your message.
Right now, using WhatsApp Channels is free, even for businesses, which makes it a great option compared to other costly methods. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on whether WhatsApp decides to charge for this service in the future.
Overall, WhatsApp Channels offer a new and effective way to reach out to people, and it’s worth exploring if you’re looking to expand your reach on social media.