Meta is rolling out new features to its instant messaging platform WhatsApp to make the platform more convenient to use for large groups of people.
One of these is Communities, which the company first began testing in April. This feature allows users to combine group chats “under one umbrella with a structure that works for them.” This way, people can receive updates sent to an entire community and organize smaller discussion groups on important things.
To use the feature, users can tap on the new “Communities” tab at the top of their chats on Android or at the bottom on iOS. From there, they can start a new Community from scratch or add existing groups.
WhatsApp will also offer admins new tools to manage communities, such as the ability to broadcast announcements to all members and control over which groups to include. “We think Communities will make it easier for a school principal to bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs,” WhatsApp’s blog stated. Communities are end-to-end encrypted and will be available to all WhatsApp users in the coming months.
What’s more, WhatsApp has implemented a few new features to individuals and groups (even those that aren’t linked to a community). These include the ability to create in-chat polls and conduct encrypted 32 person video calling. Groups can now also have up to 1,024 members.