WhatsApp Welcomes “Communities” for Users to Set Up Organizational Group Chat
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Meta-owned WhatsApp announced its plans to extend its fairly limited texting options with the Communities feature. Until now, WhatsApp allowed only 256 participants to build a group. However, the Communities feature will allow much larger groups of people to come together.
An unofficial version of the feature made rounds at the end of last year. But Meta chose to disclose it officially only this year.
In addition to announcing its large-scale messaging options, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned a host of other features for WhatsApp Communities. The official announcement emphasized making it a feed-focused feature so that urgent updates reach people on time.
Moreover, Zuckerberg stated, “In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together.“
New features on WhatsApp’s Communities
In addition to making things feed-focused, Communities will have other fun addition, like:
- Larger File Sharing: This functionality will allow users to share files up to 2 gigabytes in size, allowing them to effortlessly collaborate on projects.
- Bigger Group Calls: There will be an option for one-tap voice calls for up to 32 people at once.
- Admin Delete: Group admins will have the advantage of deleting any false or problematic messages.
- Emoji reactions: Users will be able to utilize emojis to react to chats instead of flooding discussions with unnecessary messages.
WhatsApp will continue to have its existing features of end-to-end encryption. Further, unless someone actively wishes to join these groups, they will not have to be part of them. In addition, to protect privacy, all participant phone numbers will be kept hidden.
The official announcement on WhatsApp’s website states, “While other apps are building chats for hundreds of thousands of people, we’re choosing to focus on supporting the groups that are part of our daily lives.”
While the feature is yet to roll out full scale, it shows promise. And we can only wait and see what other improvements and additions are on the way for Communities and WhatsApp.