WhatsApp is currently rolling out a new feature for its apps on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. This new feature allows group administrators to turn groups into broadcasting channels. The difference between the existing “Broadcast” feature and this is that the messages sent as broadcast-only reach the people who have saved the contact details of the sender in their address books. The new feature that turns WhatsApp groups into a broadcast channel or group is that the group members will get the message regardless of the fact that they have saved the contact details of the sender in their contact list.
The way WhatsApp is able to achieve is by restricting who can send the messages to any particular WhatsApp group. The feature allows group administrators can either allow all group members to continue sending messages to the group or they can restrict the message sending abilities to the administrators. According to the report detailing the feature and the rollout, WABetaInfo noted that the rollout on iOS is faster in comparison to the rollout on Android and Windows Phones. While changing the restrictions, all the users are informed about the change through a notice that is visible inside the group.
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This feature unofficially adds “Channels”-like feature that is present on its competitor, Telegram. This feature is useful in sending messages or to keep a large number of people informed about updates or news or anything that does not really require a conversation.
WhatsApp has also added the option for the users to quickly contact the group administrators if they want to send something important to the group. This will inform the administrator to either relay the message or change the restrictions for the user to send the message to the group.
Users don’t need to worry if you are not able to see this new feature on your device as it is likely that the feature is being rolled out in a staged manner. As part of the staged rollout, it is possible that it may take days for the new feature to reach your device.