Harsh Shah
Guest Article

Channelling first thoughts on Channels

Our guest author explores the potential of WhatsApp Channels to transform 1:1 communication into a globally engaging broadcast medium.

We’ve all seen WhatsApp communication about end-to-end encryption delivering privacy. It probably is the best 1:1 communication platform ever seen in India. 

Now, imagine the same 1:1, in-person communication. But at SCALE.

Introducing WhatsApp Channels. By definition, Channels are a one-way broadcast medium where you can share updates and exclusive content with your fans all over the world.

All in one private place.

Well, that’s the official definition. Why should we bother about Channels? Here’s why.

Public, but very private. The most underrated advantage, and yet the most effective is the in-app discovery of your content. It cannot get more intimate than this. While a channel will be associated with a phone number, that number is not visible to anyone. A very private broadcast inspires loyalty and much higher engagement.

Most engaged! Imagine a platform where you rub shoulders with the user’s friends and loved ones. That’s what Channels can be if developed effectively. Direct and timely communication reaches your most engaged audience in real-time.

Just like chatting. Channels right now offer media options like videos and images. However, the chat interface makes it easy for the user to comprehend any brand message. Expect other chat options - reactions, stickers, etc. to feature soon.

The possibility of unlimited reach. Users can see past updates without following a brand or a creator. Should they choose to follow, they can then engage with the content. Users can also share Channel updates on their private chats. This is where the magic will happen. Content worthy of sharing makes its way to the most intimate social platform. Globally, WhatsApp has 2Bn users. Channelling opens up the entire audience set for your brand.

It’s me, not you. Unlike anything else, users are opting in. No one sees who you are following. So the audience is really here to hear from you. There are no social dynamics at play.

More as we get to using it. Happy Channelling!

(Our guest author is Harsh Shah, Chief Digital Officer at Wunderman Thompson)

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