WhatsApp has announced some new features for its increasingly popular Channels broadcast messaging option, including in-stream polls, voice notes, and a new way to share public Channel posts as a personal Status update.
First off, on polls. Now, Channel admins will be able to send out polls to their audience, providing another way to spark group engagement, and gauge sentiment on specific topics.
As you can see in this example (shared by Android Central), polls will be displayed in-stream, with full vote counts shown at the right of the display.
Polls are an easy, low effort engagement option, which generally spark more response, and can also help to boost community connection. As such, the addition of polls within WhatsApp Channels makes a lot of sense, and you can no doubt expect to see them appearing in your chats sometime soon.
Voice Notes, meanwhile, will provide another creative option for admins to engage their groups.
Voice posting options seem to fluctuate in popularity, but it could be a handy way for celebrities, in particular (like Bad Bunny), to share unique, engaging updates to their WhatsApp channel audience.
And either way, it’s another creative consideration, with a range of potential possibilities.
Finally, WhatsApp will also now enable Channel members to forward a channel update as a Status update, if, of course, that Channel isn’t private.
Long pressing on a chat or image from within a Channel will now provide the option to forward that to your personal Status update, which could be a good way to promote public Channels, and get more people to sign up.
On another front, WhatsApp’s also increasing the number of admins that a Channel can have from one to up to 16, which will provide more capacity to maximize the option.
These are some handy updates, which will no doubt help to drive more engagement in Channels in the app. And with WhatsApp seeing increased usage, particularly in North America, that could be a valuable pathway to connect with your audience, and keep them updated of relevant news from your brand.
It’s a rising consideration, and these new tools could spark even more interest.