Meta has announced a new broadcast feature is coming to WhatsApp and it looks a bit like Twitter.

The messaging service is introducing a new element to its encrypted platform that will allow people to get updates from some of users' favourite brands and institutions that are outside their personal contacts.

The new feature 'Channels' will be a "one-way broadcast tool for admins to send text, photos, videos, stickers and polls," Meta has said.

Users will be able to search in a directory to pick channels to follow from institutions like sports teams, hobbies or local authorities.

How will WhatsApp's new Channels feature work?

Premier League winners Manchester City, Barcelona FC and the World Health Organisation are reportedly already signed up to the feature.

A video made by WhatsApp labelled it "a private way to follow all topics you care about” and showcases subjects like carpentry tips, traffic and weather.

The idea is that eventually, anyone will be able to make their own channel.

The Channels feature will make its debut in Columbia and Singapore - it is unclear when and if it will roll out to the UK.

It will debut in a new 'Updates' section in the app which will be accessed separately from existing private chats.

It is expected to behave in a similar way to news feeds on other social media platforms including the likes of Twitter.

East Lothian Courier: WhatsApp Channels is being introduced in Columbia and Singapore first. ( WhatsApp)WhatsApp Channels is being introduced in Columbia and Singapore first. ( WhatsApp) (Image: WhatsApp/Meta)

Meta added: "Channels will aspire to be the most private broadcast messaging product available and will come with the strong privacy protections people expect from WhatsApp.”
"We also believe there is an opportunity to support admins with a way for them to build a business around their channel using our expanding payment services as well as the ability to promote certain channels in the directory to help increase awareness.”

TikTok to introduce new paywall scheme to users

The announcement comes as another major social media site, TikTok, revealed that it is set to place longer videos behind exclusive paywalls.

The move is understood to be in a bid to encourage viewers to experience more content. 

Described by TikTok as premium content, the brand is calling the new paywall scheme Series, which is being offered to a select few to try out. 

The update, which officially launched on June 6, allows creators in certain regions aged 18 or above with at least 10,000 followers to join the Series.