WhatsApp has always lacked a clean one-to-many messaging solution. However, the app’s developers at Meta recently made the new Channels feature official after months of development, where WhatsApp users can send broadcast-style messages. The devs now seem to be working on a notification system for when the feature becomes available, perhaps serving as a silent testament to how overdue it has been.
WhatsApp announced the new Channels feature earlier this week, and it is rolling out gradually, starting with Singapore and Colombia. Even in these markets, though, the feature is debuting as a partnership with select organizations. Eventually, everyone including individual WhatsApp users like you and me will be able to create channels. With the feature already announced, it could be disappointing when you hit links to Channels, but can’t access them. Down the road it will also be difficult to track when your account is allowed to create them.
WhatsApp’s in-development alert system for when Channels are available (Source: WABetaInfo)
To make it all easier, WhatsApp is doing something it has never done before — creating an in-app alert system for when this new feature is available to you. The sleuths at WABetaInfo spotted the popup for this alert in v18.104.22.168 of the app available on the Play Store. However, the feature is still in development and unavailable to beta testers.
Still, Meta going out of its way to build a waitlist of sorts for Channels can only be interpreted as a silent nod to how hotly broadcasting features are anticipated. Perhaps the devs will roll this feature out slightly quicker than other worldwide changes, to cater to the higher demand. Once the alert system is available, WABetaInfo says tapping Notify me in the popup will sign you up for a notification when Channels are available to you. If you aren’t too excited about Channels, you will also have an option to Dismiss the prompt taking no action, when it appears.
WhatsApp will probably roll out the alert system sometime soon. However, we still don’t have the foggiest idea when Channels will be available worldwide, so you’ll probably want to sign up for notifications when you can. We certainly wouldn’t mind if WhatsApp built in such an alert system for all the major feature additions in the pipeline.