WhatsApp Communities has been launched today. It is essentially a collection of groups with similar interests that fall under one roof. In simple terms, this means that users can receive updates from groups on a single screen instead of scrolling through different chats.
WhatsApp has also introduced a host of other updates including reactions, file sharing limits, admin controls, and more. The new features will be rolled out to a select group of users in the coming days and a wider release sometime in the future.
📣 We're excited to announce a new feature rolling out later this year called Communities!
With Communities, you'll be able to bring related groups together in a way that helps you organize meaningful connections easily and privately. pic.twitter.com/eatAZQCmc3
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) April 14, 2022
What is WhatsApp Communities?
The WhatsApp Communities feature will be beneficial for schools, local clubs, or non-profit organisations that need to deal with multiple groups on the messaging platform. A user can create a community by adding groups featuring a similar theme. Community admins can then manage the groups within and send announcement messages to all groups at once. The feature aims at enabling people to easily organise small discussion groups (including important ones about a particular theme )on the platform under one roof.
WhatsApp says that users can’t discover new communities on its platform, unlike other apps. Users will be able to view the Community description and all groups that are a part of it. However, the phone numbers of people in other groups will not be visible. Additionally, conversations taking place in another group will also remain invisible unless the user joins it. Forwarding messages in communities is also limited from five to just one group at a time to curb the spread of misinformation.
Community admins will have control over which groups can be included in their communities. They will also be able to remove problematic messages from everyone’s chat. The instant messaging platform will ban members, admins or even disband a community if it becomes aware of illegal, violent, or hateful activities.
WhatsApp says that messages in the Communities will be end-to-end encrypted. Users will have options to report abuse, block accounts, and leave the group similar to what they do in regular groups.
Apart from the Communities feature, WhatsApp has also introduced emoji reactions in group chats similar to Facebook Messenger and Instagram DM. Thus, users can react to a message without sending a separate emoji text. Users can now send files up to 2GB in size. Lastly, one-tap voice calling now supports up to 32 members with an all-new design.