WhatsApp is launching a new feature called “Communities”. According to parent company Meta, the move comes as its community is looking for a platform to communicate and coordinate within a community.

Meta adds that Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella and those within a community can receive updates easily organise smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. Meta also adds that Communities will also contain powerful new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.

Some of the features in the new offering include Emoji reactions so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages. Meanwhile, group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats. The new Communities platform will also increase file sharing to support files up to two gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects. It will also allow one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with all-new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting. 

“Organisations such as schools, local clubs, and non-profit organisations 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,” it said.

Meta also added that Communities are inherently private, and will continue to protect messages with end-to-end encryption. “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,” it said.

The new feature will be rolled out in the next few months in a few countries before a global roll out.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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