Since before Facebook purchased it in 2014, WhatsApp has mostly been used for communicating with people you know. The interaction is designed to be affectionate: you must have someone’s contact information to add them, and group conversations are limited to 256 members. Beginning this week, the notion of group texting on WhatsApp is becoming much more popular. The concept is that diverse organizations, ranging from a school to a corporation, may more easily arrange conversations and have their administration message, everyone, across multiple groups. “We launched WhatsApp Communities to make it easier to manage all your group chats and obtain more information,” stated Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in introducing the new feature. You’ll be able to introduce together multiple groups into one community–for example, in addition to appropriate groups for different classrooms, you may have one community at large for parents at a school with a single location for announcements and admin features.” That said, it’ll be fascinating to see whether Communities takes off, given it’s effectively just a giant group discussion for a bunch of smaller groups.
What’s intriguing about the new Communities feature is that it sounds remarkably like your typical social networking site, although a little is more limited. But that’s my layout, and it’s likely a semi-acknowledgment from Meta that, in recent times, people are turning to band strands in messaging services to start sharing their most personal stories or important announcements, rather than posting them to their social media feeds, where every single follower, many of whom the user has presumably never met face to face, can already see those. Something WhatsApp users are likely to be happy about is the addition of emoji responses to the app, which means that rather than needing to answer every message, you can simply react with a fast thumbs up when suitable. According to Zuckerberg, the WhatsApp Communities feature will be rolled out “slowly” over the next few months. However, the functionality will not be limited to WhatsApp indefinitely. Meta is also focusing on introducing it to its other messaging platforms, like Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram.
The new update is not yet available. It will first be put through a restricted test with a few organizations to gather input before becoming public. WhatsApp has not stated when the feature would be available to the general public, although it has stated that some of the new Community capabilities, such as responses, file-sharing, and 32-person calls, will be available very soon.