WhatsApp recently released Channels, a one-to-many broadcast communication feature that allows publications, companies, and businesses to provide timely updates to their readers, employees, and stakeholders. Now, the platform is testing a new Channel Alerts feature. Although it isn’t available to all users yet, WhatsApp updates tracker has spotted the feature in a beta update for Android, and more often than not, such features make it to a stable update available for everyone.
What Are WhatsApp Channel Alerts?
WhatsApp Channel Alerts feature is currently available on Android beta v18.104.22.168. It keeps people informed about their Channel’s status, mainly if their Channel is closed in certain countries. Per WABetaInfo, the new feature comes as a response to local laws that may require the platform to restrict access to content in certain regions. The report adds that limiting a channel’s visibility results from WhatsApp’s commitment to compliance with local laws and regulations.
The report also shares a screenshot that shows how WhatsApp informs a Channel owner when their visibility is restricted in a particular region. The screenshot shows an example of a channel closed in the United States, with the message, “local laws require your Channel be closed in the US. WhatsApp complied after conducting a legal and human rights assessment.” This implies that people with a US phone number can’t see or follow the Channel. However, this also means the Channel is open and active in other countries and regions.
It may be difficult for users to test whether they have this feature since it requires them to follow a WhatsApp Channel that isn’t available in their region. Nonetheless, the report mentions that it is not available to everyone just yet.