Mark Zuckerberg launches massive WhatsApp update to make it more like Facebook

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just unveiled one of the biggest ever updates to WhatsApp, which will change the messaging app forever and make it more like a social network.

WhatsApp Communities will make it possible for people to combine related group chats under one banner into private social networks.

For example, schools could combine all of their group chats into one community along with a parents' WhatsApp chat in order to deliver important announcements to everyone.

Or, in a work setting, a restaurant could organise three different WhatsApp group chats for various staff teams, all managed by one common admin.

In a Facebook post announcing the news, Zuckerberg said: "With a focus on privacy, safety and security, we've added video chats, voice messages, stories, commerce, payments and more to WhatsApp and Messenger.

"With today's launch, we're taking this further and enabling people to not only communicate with close friends and contacts, but also with all of the different communities in your life."

It will drastically expand the scope of WhatsApp chats by making it easier to manage large groups on a bigger scale.

  • Video call apps could be secretly listening in on you – even if you're 'on mute'

An official post on the WhatsApp blog explaining the news said: "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."

Zuckerberg also revealed the company's plans for new features for the app, including:

  • Message reactions
  • Large file sharing
  • 32-person group calls
  • Silently leaving groups
  • Bigger group capacities
  • Admins can delete messages for everyone in a group

The changes will ultimately make WhatsApp resemble other popular messaging apps such as Slack and Discord, which have different servers with various channels sat underneath them, allowing people to have separate discussions according to interest or objectives.

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