WhatsAppthe extremely popular mobile-oriented instant messaging service owned by Meta, is beginning to roll out the communities feature, which allows connect conversation groups under one umbrella and one infrastructure. Or put another way, it opens the door to combining presumably related group conversations.
With the communities feature, users will be able to connect conversation groups within a community to chat and discuss. In order to make matters manageable, WhatsApp will offer administrators new tools to manage communities, including the ability to broadcast announcements to all members and the ability to choose which groups to include in a community.
As a possible practical example, WhatsApp has suggested neighborhoods, workplaces and parents who have their children in the same school and whose groups could join as part of a community. Users will be able to both create new communities and add groups to an existing one.
That Meta ecosystem services tend to share similar features is not surprising at this point, so some have already mentioned that WhatsApp communities remind them of Facebook Groups. In addition to making it easy to create, modify and delete communities, these they will have end-to-end encryption to make it difficult to read the conversations by intercepting the connection. Those responsible for the messaging service have stressed that they want to “raise the standards in the communication of organizations with an unprecedented level of privacy and security”.
Communities aside, WhatsApp is rolling out new features for traditional groups in some places, such as polls, encrypted video calls with up to 32 participants and the fact that the groups themselves now support up to 1,024 members.
After many years WhatsApp is still the absolute king of instant messaging, but with precedents such as Kodak and more recently Intel after the appearance of Ryzen, it is clear that it has to continue innovating and evolving if it does not want Telegram to start eating up ground really.