WhatsApp is expanding how the chat app works with a new feature called Communities. It works in a simple way: say you live in an apartment, you can have different groups with different members of the apartment discussing different topics. The tweet below sums it up:
The feature makes it easier to keep conversations organised, avoiding bloating discussions. So if say it’s a school community, you can have groups for classes announcements, other activities, and side discussions all under one community.
The WhatsApp Communities section has its own dedicated tab. On Android, the tab will appear at the top of your chats. On iOS it will be at the bottom. Admins will be able to start new Communities, while also adding existing groups to particular communities.
Other additions coming to WhatsApp include:
- Polls within chats
- 32-person video calls
- Up to 1,024 members within groups
With the new features, users will be able to run polls within conversations, join video calls as groups instead of going to another app, and having mega groups of up to 1,024 people. The move is definitely trying to make WhatsApp no longer just a personal chat app, but also a competitor to existing virtual meeting apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
The Communities feature will certainly help keep groups active. Especially groups that have lots of members and each having different topics of discussion. Or, whenever there’s an occurrence that needs special attention, groups can be formed within the community to deal with such events.
The company explains, “Communities like neighbourhoods, parents at a school, and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organise group conversations on WhatsApp. Once you’re in a community, you can easily switch between available groups to get the information you need, when you need it, and admins can send important updates to everyone in the Community.”