WhatsApp’s new “Communities” feature is like a messaging-based social network

WhatsApp has announced that it is adding a new feature to the platform aimed at better organizing and managing multiple similar group chats that users participate in. The new feature is called Communities and allows users to sort existing group chats and assemble them into a larger collective.

Announcing the new feature, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We built WhatsApp communities to make it much easier to organize all your group chats and find information. You’ll be able to bring different groups together in one community – alongside individual groups for different classes, for example, you could have a general community for parents at a school with a central location for announcements and tools for admins.”

The interesting thing about the new community feature is that in many ways it sounds like your average social media platform, just a little more exclusive. But that’s intentional, and probably half an acknowledgment from Meta that in recent years people have turned to group threads in messaging apps to share their most personal messages or important updates, rather than on their social media feeds post wherever there are individual followers, many of whom the user has probably never met in real life.

[Image: courtesy of Meta]

That being said, it will be interesting to see if Communities catch on as it’s essentially just one big group thread for several smaller groups. What WhatsApp users will likely be happy about is that the company has also announced that emoji reactions are coming to the platform, so now you don’t have to reply to every message but can simply respond with, for example, a quick thumbs-up, which is appropriate .

Zuckerberg says the communities feature in WhatsApp will be rolled out “slowly” in the coming months. But the feature won’t be exclusive to WhatsApp forever. Meta is also working on integrating it with its other apps with messaging capabilities, including Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram. WhatsApp’s new “Communities” feature is like a messaging-based social network


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