whatsapp is working on a newsletter tool

WhatsApp, the instant messaging giant with over 2 billion users, is reportedly testing a new feature that will incorporate a private newsletter tool, according to some updates made to its source code that was spotted by WABetaInfo.

The site, which has an exceptional track record of identifying upcoming features that WhatsApp is gearing up to launch, said that the “Newsletter” tool would be a “one-to-many” messaging feature that can be used to broadcast information to a certain audience.

Even though WhatsApp already allows users to send the same messages to a large number of people – known as Broadcast Lists – this new tool may be a way for organizations, entertainers, and influencers to engage with their audiences in a new way.

WABetaInfo also reported that the “Newsletter” tool – not necessarily the name it will get – could function separately from the private messaging interface and should not affect the end-to-end encryption that these messages enjoy.

The identity of those who have joined a certain newsletter will remain anonymous, the tech blog explains, and there are no signs that WhatsApp is planning to incorporate ads or make algorithm-driven suggestions to users.

However, one could easily see this as a tool that local authorities, sports teams, brands, and other similar organizations could use to keep their target audiences informed about new developments. Since users will only subscribe to the newsletters they like, it should not be a crowded space filled with random information. Meanwhile, the creator-facing side of the Newsletter tool could be incorporated into WhatsApp Business.

Meta Also Launched Channels for Instagram and a New Subscription Package

The engineers at Meta Platforms appear to have been busy lately as indicated by the many updates and changes made to the social media platforms owned by the company.

Just a few days ago, Instagram launched a broadcasting tool called Channels that functions quite similarly to how this WhatsApp Newsletter tool as creators can build a group of up to 1 million followers to keep them informed about any new content, events, and other similar updates.

The Channels feature was also deemed a “one-to-many” messaging tool and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and head of Meta, was the first user to launch a Channel called the “Meta Channel” where the company will keep those who join updated with the latest from the social media company.

For now, Channels is only available to users in the United States but it should soon be made available in other regions.

In addition, Meta recently launched a subscription program called Meta Verified, which allows users to get one of those long-sought blue badges on their Facebook and Instagram, among other benefits, in exchange for paying from $11.99 per month (web users) to $14.99 (mobile users).

To get verified, users must provide a government ID that matches the user name and photo displayed in the two social media accounts. If the photo and account name are changed at some point, the user will have to go through the verification process once again.

The Verified program was only made available to users in Australia and New Zealand as Meta is testing how it works, possibly to avoid some of the shameful incidents that occurred when Twitter rolled out its revamped version of Twitter Blue.

Why is Meta Introducing So Many New Features Lately? Here Are Some Theories

Could the constant changes that are being made by Elon Musk to his recently-acquired social media business be prompting Meta to take things up a notch at home?

Clearly, the launch of the Meta Verified subscription seems like a do-over of Twitter Blue. As for the rest of the features, the sole motivation of having TikTok breathing on their neck can be enough to keep Meta’s leadership team awake at night.

Meta Platforms (META) could be looking for ways to monetize WhatsApp at a point when its revenues reported the first annual decline for the first time since the company went public. Zuckerberg promised investors during the company’s latest earnings call that 2023 will be a “year of efficiency” for the business.

Engineers may be incentivized to push things forward not just by these assertive claims from its leader but also by the fact that Meta has laid off thousands of employees lately and seems to be planning another round of en-masse forced departures soon.

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