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Minister: Meta launches WhatsApp Channels in Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek July 24, 2023 8:34 PM 2 min read
Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov
Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 14, 2022. (Photo credit: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The U.S.-based tech company Meta has launched a function to create WhatsApp channels in Ukraine, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov informed on July 24.

"One of the safest messengers in the world is getting even more comfortable and convenient," Fedorov wrote on his Facebook.

"Ukrainians are among the first with access to create their own WhatsApp channels."

According to the minister, the option has been launched in eight other countries.

As Fedorov noted, this function is essential in the face of Russian attempts at destabilization and sowing panic through information space.

WhatsApp Channels will have reliable protection of personal information and their history will be stored on servers for 30 days, Interfax-Ukraine reported, citing Meta Warsaw's press center.

The channels will appear separately from users' private chat, Meta told the news agency. Administrators will be able to block the creation of screenshots and forwarding messages from their channel but will not be able to add subscribers, Interfax-Ukraine wrote.

The news agency reported that the launch of WhatsApp Channels in Ukraine took place in cooperation with President Volodymyr Zelensky, First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the and UNITED24 platforms, as well as public organizations.

WhatsApp was co-founded by Ukrainian businessman Yan Kum in 2009 before it was bought by Facebook Inc. (today called Meta) in 2014.

According to Internews, social media are among the most popular ways among Ukrainians to consume news. Telegram ranks as the most-used platform with 60% of respondents using it in 2022.

How Ukraine’s prodigy minister is innovating the battlefield
Mykhailo Fedorov and his team “make things happen,” Time magazine wrote when it selected Fedorov as one of its 100 emerging world leaders in September. “It is like it is in his DNA to take action,” his profile read. Fedorov, Ukraine’s 31-year-old deputy prime minister and minister of digital
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