WhatsApp has made many tweaks and improvements over the past few months, and there’s a new one to be aware of: the Communities feature which works similarly to public servers on Discord or Slack, which can then be divided into small groups according to needs.
According to the official blog post announcing the news, Communities will “allow people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella to better organize conversations.” The update is rolling out and will take a few weeks to reach everyone.
The idea is that the feature will make it easier for nonprofits, local clubs, schools and other groups to communicate within their groups – these communities could be used by school leaders to share important announcements and updates, for example.
Even more new features
WhatsApp is also introducing a bunch of other new features for group chats, whether they’re part of communities or not: voice calls for up to 32 users, improved file sharing capabilities (up to 2GB), and the ability to administrators to delete messages. that do not suit the group.
We’re also going to get emoji reactions to messages — the same reactions you’re probably used to on all other chat platforms, including Discord, Slack, and even Facebook Messenger.
It looks like at least some of these features will be released for beta users first before everyone has access to them, so don’t panic if you can’t see them right away. For more details on what’s involved, check out the official blog.
Meta boss Mark Zuckberg is no stranger to snatching the best features from other apps — or even apps in their entirety. Take Snapchat’s stories feature, for example: once Zuckerberg realized how popular the format was, he was rushed to Instagram and Facebook as quickly as possible.
Instagram and Facebook have since done their best to copy TikTok and build on its success, although these efforts are not achieving much success so far. Remember that Instagram and WhatsApp were bought and gobbled up by Facebook as they began to take away its market share, while Snapchat pushed back Facebook’s advances.
With that in mind, WhatsApp’s introduction of familiar features from Discord and Slack should come as no real surprise. Zuckerberg himself says Communities is “an important evolution for WhatsApp and online communication in general”, spoken like someone who has used these other products that WhatsApp competes with and seen how great they can be intuitive.
As Slack has been with us for eight years at this point, WhatsApp is actually quite slow, but the intent is clear: to make sure you spend as little time as possible in apps that aren’t made by Meta. As with all other tech giants, Meta is keen to lock you in as tightly as possible to its products.