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WhatsApp Announces a Feature That Will Change Group Chatting as We Know It

WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, has just announced a new feature called “Communities”. This update will allow users to communicate with more people at once, potentially changing the way we all group chat.

The new feature will allow the placing of several group chats together under one topic to share updates more effectively.

The social media platform took it to Twitter to announce the rolling out of the new feature.

Meta’s owner, Mark Zuckerberg, called WhatsApp Communities a “major evolution”. In his Facebook post, he said: “It’s been clear for a while that the way we communicate online is changing. Most of us use social networks and feeds to discover interesting content and stay updated. But for a deeper level of interaction, messaging has become the centre of our digital lives. It’s more intimate and private, and with encryption, it’s more secure too.

Our messaging services are built around one-to-one text messaging — and that will stay the core of what we do. But we’ve also been working on building out the next generation of private messaging. With a focus on privacy, safety and security, we’ve added video chats, voice messages, stories, commerce, payments and more to WhatsApp and Messenger. With today’s launch, we’re taking this further and enabling people to not only communicate with close friends and contacts but also with all of the different communities in your life.”

Zuckerberg finished off by saying that he’ll start rolling out this update slowly, but nonetheless, he expects it to be a significant evolution for WhatsApp and mobile internet communication overall. 

WhatsApp’s official announcement reads: “Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. That way, people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organise smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. 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 improvements that will come with Communities are:

  • Reactions — emoji reactions are coming to WhatsApp so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages.
  • Admin Delete — group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats.
  • File-Sharing — increased file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects.
  • Larger Voice Calls — one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with an all-new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting.

Zuckerberg also hinted at a similar “Community” feature for Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram in the future.