WhatsApp channels are now available in Spain

  • That's correct, Meta has confirmed that WhatsApp channels are now available in Spain and in 149 other countries. Get all the details.

  • WhatsApp channels may not be the most well-known feature of this popular messaging app, but the results of the pilot version they initially launched in Colombia and Singapore seem to have convinced the Meta team.

    That's why channels are going to become a reality for most users. Today, we will explain how they work and what WhatsApp channels can bring to your digital marketing strategy for eCommerce.

    Of course, WhatsApp is a valuable tool for businesses.
  • What is a WhatsApp channel?

  • It's best to start with a brief definition. WhatsApp channels are a private and unidirectional way to receive updates from a specific profile that is relevant to a specific community.

    Let's work on that definition.

    We say that WhatsApp channels are private, but not because they are hidden from others; in fact, the channels will be public. What is private is our interaction with them, as our contacts will never know if we are following one channel or another, or if we are reacting in any way. They ensure that privacy is guaranteed.

    This leads us to the next keyword in the definition: WhatsApp channels are unidirectional. By this, we mean that communication will always go in one direction: the channel owner can publish updates as they wish, but users are limited to viewing them, sharing them, and at most, reacting to them. Of course not, you cannot leave comments on WhatsApp channels.

    We have also said that they are aimed at profiles that are thematically relevant to a community. It could be a popular celebrity like an artist or an influencer, a politician, a football team, or a company like yours.
  • How do you access WhatsApp channels?

  • At the bottom of the application, users will find a new icon labeled "updates." If they tap on it, it will take them directly to the section where the main channels are located.

    Users can choose from those that are featured, but there is also a directory for conducting searches. To promote discovery and help users become familiar with this option, the directory allows filtering by:
    • Channels that are more active in their posting frequency.
    • Channels that are recently created.
    • Popular channels, those with the highest number of followers.
    It's important to note that this directory is directly segmented to channels in the user's country, precisely to maintain a high level of relevance.
  • Functioning of a WhatsApp channel

  • In reality, it's very simple: once we've created our channel, similar to how we publish a message in one of our chats, we can publish it in the channel. Obviously, in addition to text, we can include links and multimedia elements (photos and videos).

    As we've already mentioned, users can react to our messages, and, similar to Facebook, the number of accumulated reactions will be displayed.

    What is interesting to note is that the messages can be edited and, unlike "classic" chats, they have a limited lifespan of 30 days. After a month, the updates will be automatically deleted from Meta's servers.
  • Can they be used already?

  • They are already available... for some users. If you ran your application and you haven´t seen them yet, don't worry: it's just a matter of time before they are rolled out globally to all users in those 150 countries where the new feature has been launched.

    If you´ve already had access, we recommend experimenting a bit with the channels; you can start with the official WhatsApp channel that is active.
  • Why you should be interested in having a WhatsApp channel in your online store

  • What I find most interesting about this option is that, although there are some similar things on the market (Telegram channels, Instagram broadcast lists, etc.), WhatsApp has an enormous market penetration.

    In addition to having a large number of potential users who don't even need to install a new app or learn how to use it (WhatsApp is part of their daily routine), you can largely ensure reaching them at any time because they will receive notifications with each update.
  • I would also highlight that it's a "risk-free channel" in terms of reputation. We could have something similar on Twitter (it feels strange to call it X), but we know what can happen there. Too often, comments on any post end up being complaints, memes, unrelated comments... Because of this, the one-way nature of the channel does seem like a significant advantage.

    Is it going to completely change the landscape of social media? Probably not, but it's a channel worth exploring to see how it's received by the audience.
  • Did you know that Whatsapp channels are already available in Spain? Have you created yours, or do you prefer to wait? Leave your comments!

  • Images | Unsplash and Whatsapp.

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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