WhatsApp to add Twitter-like follow feature with new channels introduced

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The new WhatsApp feature will allow users to receive updates from sports teams, politicians and other authorities - with big names already signing up

WhatsApp is set to release a new Twitter-like feature that will allow users to follow accounts from outside their personal contacts. The feature will be added into a new section of the app called “updates” and will be completely separate from your private chats.

The new feature will look similar to the news feeds of other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Instead of adding a contact to your phone, users will be able to search for both individuals and organisations to follow, for example sports teams or accounts dedicated to specific interests.

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Owners of each channel will also be able to invite people to follow the page using a direct link. Meta, which owns WhatsApp and Facebook, has said Manchester City and the World Health Organization were among the first to sign-up with the long-term plan allowing any user to set up their own channel.

Channel owners will be able to create posts, including text, video, photos and polls which will then appear in the updates tab alongside updates from people’s contacts. Clicking on an update on the feed will open up the posts channel page which will look similar to a normal WhatsApp chat - without the ability to message back.

The new channels feature is currently in development with WhatsApp revealing it will be released to all users in a future update.

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