WhatsApp has unveiled a feature called ‘Communities’, that enables users to place several group chats together under one topic. Essentially, groups within groups.
Announcing the changes, Mark Zuckerberg said it would now be easier to organise the chats and find information.
The idea was first approached in November when rumours circulated that WhatsApp wanted to move into messaging territory currently occupied by Slack and Discord.
The way it works is that in addition to individual groups, you could have an overall community (with a community admin) as well.
For example, in school you could have individual groups for different classes or extra-curricular activities and then an overall community covering all aspects of school life.
Community admins can then share messages with everyone and have control over which groups can be included.
The new feature was prompted by how people were using WhatsApp recently as a tool ‘for close-knit communities to have private conversations’ on the app.
WhatsApp has emerged as one of the go-to tools for coordinating with a wider group of people throughout the pandemic.
Schools, local clubs, and non-profit organisations started relying on WhatsApp to work together during the many lockdowns around the world. It also meant that some of these groups could get chaotic.
The company hopes the new update will help people better structure their groups so they’re not bombarded by messages.
Before the ‘Community’ feature hits, WhatsApp is introducing some improvements to Groups themselves.
Admins can now delete messages on the group chat which will come as a relief for many. Other changes to the group chat include the ability to react to individual messages, sharing files up to 2GB and 32 person audio calls.
Zuckerberg also hinted at a similar ‘Community’ feature for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram in the future.
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