Earlier this year, Meta-owned WhatsApp introduced Communities, a step further than the ‘groups’ that exist on the instant messaging platform. And later in August, it confirmed that the feature was in beta. Now, WhatsApp informed that it was bringing Communities to its platform across the globe, and over the next few months, it will be made available to everyone.
With Communities, WhatsApp makes it easier for individuals, and groups of individuals, to communicate with each other “under one umbrella with a structure that works for them.” While a WhatsApp group lets members add other individuals to it (if they are the admin, that is), Communities lets users build groups to it.
“Communities like neighborhoods, parents at a school, and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organize group conversations on WhatsApp,” read the post by WhatsApp. Once you are part of a Community, you can easily switch from one group to another, and everyone will be notified at the same time if admins decide to send an update to every member.
“We’ve been working with over 50 organizations in 15 countries to build Communities to meet their needs,” WhatsApp added in the post. It is also bringing support for larger groups on its platform – a WhatsApp Group can now have up to 1,024 users.
Both Android and iOS users will be able to create and have access to Communities – they need to click on the new communities tab. You can find it at the top of your chats (if you’re an Android user) or the bottom (for iOS), and once you’ve clicked on it, can add existing groups or create a new Community from scratch.
With great power comes great responsibility, and it is the responsibility of group admins to ensure that the WhatsApp group does not fall into chaos. Admins of Communities will have a similar responsibility, and they will have “powerful new tools” to help them in managing Communities. These tools include the ability to broadcast announcements to all members and being able to choose which groups to include.
Apart from Communities, WhatsApp is bringing a host of new features to the platform. These include the ability to create in-chat polls, and encrypted video calling that supports 32 individuals at once. Communities will have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) as well.