WhatsApp on Thursday introduced a new feature in the app called Communities. This feature will enable users bring separate groups under one “umbrella” wherein they will be able to receive updates sent to the entire Community and organise smaller discussion groups on what matters to them.
Communities on WhatsApp also provides powerful new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.
A few major feature updates include the ability to have one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people and file sharing limit increased to up to 2GB. WhatsApp also introduced emoji reactions to each message and will now give admin the control to delete errant and problematic messages. These updates will also be included in the regular group chats, whether or not they are a part of Communities.
“Since WhatsApp launched in 2009, we’ve been focused on how we can help people have the next best thing to an in-person conversation when they want to talk to an individual or a group of friends or family. We also frequently hear from people who are using WhatsApp to communicate and coordinate within a community,” the company said in a blog post.
“Organisations like schools, local clubs, and non-profit organisations now rely on WhatsApp to communicate securely and get things done– especially since the pandemic forced us all to find creative ways to work together while apart. Given lots of feedback we’ve received, we think there’s more we can do to make it easier to help people manage these busy conversations among these kinds of groups,” the post added.
With Communities too, WhatsApp will continue to protect messages with end- to-end encryption.
“This security technology has truly never been more necessary to protect people’s privacy and safety. Close knit groups — schools, members of a religious congregation, even businesses — very much want and need to be able to have secure and private conversations without WhatsApp monitoring their every word,” the company said.
“It’s early days for Communities on WhatsApp and building the new features to support them will be a major focus of ours for the year to come. We can’t wait to get Communities in people’s hands and are looking forward to people’s feedback.”
April 15, 2022