WhatsApp is testing a new feature, ‘WhatsApp Community’ to improve group messaging starting this week. The App, primarily for messaging, was bought in 2014 by Facebook with the group chats are capped at 256 participants.
Why WhatsApp’s Community? Release Date
The feature tab, first rolling out to a small, select number of groups, will let thousands participate in a Community that hosts multiple subgroup chats. The intent is to help various organizations such as schools and businesses easily organize discussions, communicate and have their admins message everyone across different groups.
Explaining why the introduction of WhatsApp communities, the head of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart said, “We’ve been hearing increasingly from organizations that use WhatsApp for their private communications.”
“We think it’s time to start building with intention for those use cases, because there’s a lot we can do to make it better.” she added.
Unique Features of WhatsApp’s Community
- In WhatsApp’s Community, messages forwarded more than once can only be sent to one group at a time, rather than the previous limit of five.
- Only admins can broadcast to all Community in WhatsApp, whereas members are restricted to the sub-groups they are in. Someone needs your phone number to add you to a Community
- WhatsApp won’t allow for Communities to be discoverable through search or recommended by an algorithm.
- In WhatsApp Community, numbers will be hidden except from admins and the people you’re in a specific subgroup with.
- All communications between people in a Community are encrypted, except for a Community’s name and description.
Why Use WhatsApp’s Community: Future Updates
According to Will, WhatsApp is “imagining that the use really will, because of those limitations, more naturally gravitate towards communities where people have some sort of existing relationships.”
He added that WhatsApp isn’t making money off Communities, though he didn’t rule it out in the future, saying “you can imagine potentially there are premium features you can charge for,” especially if businesses embrace the feature for their employees.