Meta has announced WhatsApp’s next big update. The messaging platform will debut communities, a feature aimed at replacing larger group chats with added features like file sharing up to 2GBs, 32-person group chats, emoji reactions, and admin and moderation tools, among other things.
Communities will also include admin tools, including announcement messages sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included in a community.
Additionally, WhatsApp groups are also receiving several improvements regardless of the fact that they’re part of a community or not. Thes features are expected to reduce overload in larger chats and will be rolling out in the coming weeks letting users try them before Communities roll out on the platform.
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Better groups, better communities
Newly added features to groups include the following.
- Larger video calls: Group video calls can now include 32 people. A new interface for the bigger number will also be rolled out.
- Larger file sharing limit: The file-sharing size limit on WhatsApp will be upgraded to up to 2GBs.
- Admin moderation controls: Group admins can now delete inappropriate messages in group chats for everyone.
- Emoji reactions: Group chats are also getting support for emoji reactions.
The new feature derives some comparisons with Facebook Groups. Communities on WhatsApp will allow schools, clubs, organisations or any other group to quickly create networks for their members to interact and share data. Additionally, Communities will also support the ability to host sub-groups, just like Facebook Groups.
However, unlike Facebook Groups, WhatsApp Communities will allow users to see the phone numbers of other people in the same sub-groups as them or when they’re talking directly to someone from the community or the sub-group. Facebook Groups can also be set to publicly discoverable on the platform while WhatsApp Communities will be private by default, with the company saying that it will not allow users to search for or discover Communities on their own. Users need to be invited to a group to be able to join them.