Channels is an optional, one-way broadcasting feature within WhatsApp, separate from our private messaging services, that allows you to create a Channel (making you a Channel “Admin”) where you may share updates for others to view (Channel Updates). You can also view and react to Channel Updates, and follow particular Channels as a follower (“Follower”). Non-followers (“Viewers”) can also view and react to Channel Updates.
How does this affect my regular WhatsApp messages?
Information We Collect for Channels
Information from and about Channel Admins
Information to Create a Channel. To create a Channel, Admins must provide a name for the Channel. If you do not provide a name for the Channel, you will not be able to create a Channel. Admins may also choose to add other information, such as a picture, description or links to third party sites.
Channel Updates. Channels are public, so we collect Channel Updates that Admins create or share, such as text, videos, photos, images, documents, links, gifs, stickers, audio content, polls, or other types of content in their Channel Updates for others to view.
Usage Information. When you use Channels, we collect information about your activity on and use of Channels, including the content you view and how you react to Channel Updates and reactions by Followers and Viewers; the Channels features you use and how you use them, and date, time, frequency, and duration of your activities on Channels such as when you post Channel Updates or join a Channel and the searches you make in the directory.
Log and Troubleshooting information. We collect information about how Channels is performing when you use it, like service-related, diagnostic and performance information. This information includes log files, timestamps, diagnostic or crash data, Channels performance logs and error messages or reports.
User Reports. Users or third-parties can report to us your Channel or specific Channel Updates, for example, to report possible violations of our terms or policies or local law. When a report is made, we receive information about the reporting party and reported user(s) (e.g., Channel Admin), and other information that may help us in investigating the report, such as associated Channels or Channel Updates, user reactions and activity on Channels, and other information, such as the number of Followers who have muted a Channel, and other user reports or enforcement actions. To find out more, see our WhatsApp Channels Guidelines and Advanced Safety and Security Features.
Public Information. Remember that Channel Updates and information Admins share on Channels is public and available to others. You should keep in mind that anybody can capture screenshots or make recordings of Channel Updates and reactions on Channels and send them to WhatsApp or anyone else, or share, export or upload them off our Services. If you are not saved as a phone number contact of the Admin of the Channel, your phone number will be hidden to the Admin. Following a Channel won’t reveal your phone number to the Admin or other Followers.
Channel Invites. You, or other users, can choose to share a link for other users to join a Channel. For example, if an Admin, Follower or Viewer shares a Channel invite, such as on Facebook or Instagram, Meta will receive the Channel name, description, picture and the number of followers of the Channel. Please note that when you use third-party services or other Meta Company Products, their own terms and privacy policies will govern your use of those services and products.
We work with other Meta Companies to help us promote the safety, security, and integrity of Channels and our Services including to combat harmful conduct, protect users against bad or harmful experiences, detect and investigate suspicious activity or violations of our terms and policies, including our WhatsApp Channels Guidelines, and to ensure our Services, including Channels, are being used lawfully. In particular, we share Information We Collect for Channels with Meta Companies in the United States and Ireland to:
review Channels and Channel Updates for violations of WhatsApp’s policies by using detection and measurement tools that leverage a combination of automated classifiers, content and behavioural signals, human review, and User Reports to proactively and reactively detect potentially violating content or use of Channels to ensure safety, security and integrity on our Services
assist with enforcement against Channels that have violated WhatsApp’s policies.
When we share information with other Meta Companies in this capacity, we require them to use your information on our behalf in accordance with our instructions and terms. For a list of the Meta Companies that currently act as our service providers, please click here.
How and Why We Process Information and Our Legal Basis For Processing
You also have particular rights available to you depending on which legal basis we use. You should know that no matter what legal basis applies, you always have the right to request access to, rectification of, and erasure of your information. To exercise your rights, see the How to Exercise Your Data Subject Rights section.
Processing necessary to perform our contract with you
We process information as necessary to conclude and perform the Supplemental Terms of Service. The categories of information used and why and how they are processed is set out below:
How and Why We Process Your Information
Information Categories Used
To generally operate and provide Channels, we:
Enable WhatsApp users to use Channels such as by creating a Channel, share, edit or remove Channel Updates, follow or mute a Channel, and allow users to view, forward or react to Channel Updates.
Allow Admins to edit a Channel profile by changing the Channel name, picture, or description. Admins can also request that WhatsApp verify their Channel or invite other users to become an Admin of a Channel.
Generate Channel related information for Admins, including Channel Update views and reactions to Channel Updates (such as reactions to Channel Updates or responses to polls). Admins will also be able to see which of their saved WhatsApp contacts have chosen to follow their Channel, alongside the profile name and photo of non-contacts (depending on their privacy settings) who have followed their Channel.
Delete a Channel at an Admin’s request.
Analyse log information to resolve crashes and user issues and collect information for troubleshooting, diagnostics and debugging issues related to Channels.
Collect and aggregate activity, system events and metrics (such as latencies) to monitor service performance, reliability, and efficiency of Channels, so we can ensure and optimise service quality.
Test out and experiment with new features on Channels to see if they work as expected.
Keep a log about Channel-related notifications and updates you receive. For example, we keep a record about when you accepted the Supplemental Terms of Service for WhatsApp Channels.
To ensure safety, security, and integrity of Channels. We use information we have and apply automated data processing techniques and, in some instances, conduct manual (human) review to:
Detect and investigate suspicious activity by users or threats to the security of Channels.
Investigate and address violations of our terms and policies, including our WhatsApp Channel Guidelines. For example, we may hide or suspend your Channel when we learn that you are engaged in infringing activities. If your account is banned from WhatsApp, the Channel associated with your account will be deleted.
Detect, prevent and combat harmful or unlawful behaviour which threatens the security of our users' information, Channels or the WhatsApp service.
Protection Of Your Vital Interests Or Those Of Another Person
How and Why we Process Your Information
Information Categories Used
The actual information used depends on the factual circumstances, but could include any of the following:
For protecting your vital interests or those of another person.
We apply automated processing techniques, conduct manual (human) review and share information with law enforcement in circumstances where someone’s vital interests require protection, such as in the case of emergencies. These vital interests include protection of your or someone else’s life, physical or mental health, wellbeing or integrity or that of others.
In protecting such vital interests we aim to combat harmful conduct and promote safety, integrity and security. For example, we compare Information to Create a Channel and Channel Updates against a database of known hashed child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and use a combination of automated processing techniques and human review to detect previously unknown CSAM. If we detect apparent CSAM, we report it to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (learn more about how we work to help fight child exploitation here).
We rely on our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third-party, such as our users, where they are not outweighed by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms ("legitimate interests"):
Why And How We Process Your Information
Legitimate Interests Relied On
Information Categories Used
Business intelligence and analytics:
to understand usage of Channels we analyse how users interact and search for Channels.
In our interest to measure the use of Channels in order to inform and improve business decisions related to Channels and the wider WhatsApp Service.
To promote safety, integrity and security outside of the performance of our contract with you. We use information we have and apply automated data processing techniques and, in some instances, conduct manual (human) review to:
detect, prevent and combat unlawful behaviour on Channels, such as by reviewing Channel Updates or Information to Create a Channel to determine if they infringe our terms, policies or WhatsApp Channel Guidelines and notifying Admins about infringing Channel Updates and, in some instances, removing access to content and / or suspending the Channel.
log User Reports, aggregated events and actions to identify and understand the techniques being used by the bad actors that may interfere with Channels or the Service, including your use of Channels.
It is in our interest and in the interest of Channel users to secure our systems, user's accounts, and fight threats, abuse, or infringement activities and promote safety, integrity and security on Channels and the Services. It is also in our interest to ensure our Services are used in accordance with the terms.
It is in our interest to ensure Channels are used in accordance with the terms and policies.
To improve Channels by developing new features or updating existing features, we:
generate and validate metrics to understand how and how often Channels are used, in order to inform and improve product direction and development and forecast future adoption of Channels or features.
analyse metrics about Channels (like the number of followers, reactions and frequency of updates), including by using automated processing techniques to improve the results, categories and recommendations displayed to a user.
log Channel search queries and use automated processing techniques to improve Channels and recommendations.
It is in our interest and in the interest of users to evaluate the use of the services and adoption of new features to inform the development of future features and improve product direction and development.
To allow WhatsApp to improve and evaluate its efforts to provide an innovative feature on the WhatsApp Service that will help WhatsApp users connect with relevant Channels via recommendations in the Channels Directory.
You also have the right to lodge a complaint with WhatsApp's lead supervisory authority under the GDPR, the Irish Data Protection Commission, or any other competent data protection supervisory authority.
Managing And Retaining Your Channels Information
For example, in the ordinary course of providing Channels, we store:
Channel Updates may remain on Viewers’ or Followers’ devices for a longer period, though we may provide options for Channel Updates to disappear faster, for example after 7 days or 24 hours should Admins choose; and
Removing Channel Updates. Channel Admins can remove Channel Updates up to 30 days after posting.
Transferring Channels information outside the EEA as part of Our Global Operations