WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging platforms is adding new feature called Communities to organise groups in larger structure that could be used by workplaces and schools.
WhatsApp head Will Cathcart told Reuters the feature would bring together groups, which are capped at 256 users, under bigger umbrellas where administrators could send alerts to a community of thousands.
With the pandemic changing how workplaces function, WhatsApp is now being used by organisations, schools, local clubs to communicate among members and get things done.
What are ‘Communities’ on WhatsApp?
The Communities feature will help people in bringing together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure suitable for them. The users can get updates sent to the entire community and organise smaller discussion groups on the issues of importance. There are new tools for community admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups are to be included.
Who will benefit?
Organisations like offices, schools, government and private enterprises which are now majorly depending on WhatsApp for communications within members through groups. Let’s say a school principal can bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs.
Are Communities safe?
WhatsApp says the communities are private and the messages will continue to be protected with end-to-end encryption.
The users will get more control over their chats including easy ways to report abuse, block accounts, and leave communities they no longer want to be a part of.
The developers said they will protect user privacy by hiding phone numbers from the Community at large.
When will the feature be rolled out?
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Thursday post that Communities would be rolled out over the coming months. He said Meta would be building community messaging features for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
New features to groups
The messaging platform said it plans to introduce more features for people to start trying them before Communities are ready.
>WhatsApp will introduce emoji reactions for group members to quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages.
> The group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats.
> The makers are enhancing file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on a project.
> WhatsApp is planning to introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with an all-new design.