WhatsApp pulls a page out of Telegram’s book and has now released a new one-way broadcast feature to group chats and conversations. This will now allow users and participants in group conversations and chats to be able to create broadcasts that will be viewable by the rest of the group – although this won’t be two-way.
It’s interesting to talk about “innovations” in applications and software as of late given how some do make features remarkably similar to some applications who started trends. For instance, Facebook recently got flak for having Instagram “copying” Snapchat’s temporary photo feature in its “Instagram Stories.” Now, Facebook is at it yet again with its WhatsApp chat application increasingly having new features from other similar chat applications. This time, WhatsApp took inspiration from Telegram and now will be featuring a one-way broadcast system in its group conversations.
The system has just been launched in WhatsApp groups, and Telegram users have found it strikingly similar to the latter’s one-way broadcast streams. It can be remembered that Telegram has become popular not just because of its encryption and privacy systems, but also for allowing “news feeds” that can have scheduled broadcasts. These “channels” – which range from public interest groups, schools, companies, and even news agencies – can notify users and members whenever there’s a new broadcast. Now WhatsApp has added such a feature to its system as well – which makes it easier for some users who prefer WhatsApp to be able to broadcast news and updates to peers.
WhatsApp wrote about this in a short blog post, where it elaborated that part of the motivation they had to add the feature was the fact that some people use groups to receive important information and announcements – in the case of non-profit organizations, community centers, and teachers and parents. The new feature will effectively allow administrators to have access to better tools to be able to broadcast these information to their members.
Regardless, WhatsApp still requires users to place a mobile number in order to even join any of these groups. Unfortunately, any member of the group can find the mobile number of any other member – which is a primary issue as to how some have been dissuaded from joining public groups. Telegram has mitigated this issue by providing the option to add usernames.
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the most effective solution for WhatsApp given the scale of its intended use for its groups.
This is especially given that WhatsApp has an upward scale of 1.5-billion users that are active, 200-million of those are from India alone. Meanwhile, Telegram has just hit 200-million users that are active worldwide.
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