WhatsApp Launches Communities and Here’s What it is All About

 In a statement issued today, WhatsApp announced that it’s working to introduce a new feature called “Communities”, which will bring together people with similar interests and will help manage groups better.

A Community is essentially a collection of groups, which can be created by anyone and multiple groups can be invited to join in. Users can also receive updates sent to the entire community. The feature will bring about new tools for admins as well, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and the control over which groups can be included.

Furthermore, communities will support end-to-end encryption. The update was introduced based on feedback that people get lost because of the multiple groups on the platform.

WhatsApp said in a blogpost:

Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them

In terms of discoverability, the platform shared that it will not be introducing the ability to search or discover new communities, unlike other platforms. Additionally, the platform will also be reducing the ability to forward messages from the current limit of five to just one group at a time, with an aim to lessen the spread of false information within Community groups.

As additional measures, WhatsApp will be banning individual Community members or admins, and disbanding a Community if it becomes aware of illegal, violent, or hateful activities within a Community.

According to a recent update, groups will now allow emoji reactions for messages, so members can react to a particular message without separately sending emojis in messages. Like before, admins will be able to delete messages in a group, which will then be removed from everyone’s device. Notably, file sharing is also being upgraded to support files of up to 2GB in size. And last but not least, one-tap voice calling now supports up to 32 members.

The new features will be rolling out this week to a select group of users and slowly expanding to everyone else.

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