WhatsApp Communities feature officially announced and also on Messenger, Facebook and Instagram

After months and months of work in progress, the WhatsApp development team has officially announced the arrival of the Communities and many other news (including reactions ) for groups within the popular messaging app.

Mark Zuckerberg himself announces the WhatsApp communities, a “major evolution” for the app driven by Meta, which however is not the only major news announced today.

WhatsApp Communities

In general, the WhatsApp Communities will allow users to create “groups of groups”, aggregating several separate groups into a single large group, choosing the structure that suits them best. Each Community will have a description and a list of groups that users can choose to join.

Users who are part of a Community will be able to receive updates sent to the entire community and create smaller discussion groups, perhaps specific to a particular topic.

Community administrators will have particular and specific tools, including the ability to send alerts to all members or only to members of some particular groups.

Driven by enthusiasm for communities, WhatsApp is also preparing to bring improvements to groups in general. These news will arrive over the next few weeks, even before the communities, which are therefore only announced today but will still take their time.

  • Reactions : we had already talked about it several months ago, and finally the reactions with emojis are arriving on WhatsApp , a practice now so common on other social networks / messaging apps, that there is no need for many comments.
  • Chat moderation : Group administrators will be able to remove messages from all chats.
  • Sharing files up to 2 Gigabytes : also anticipated, the possibility of transferring files up to 2 gigabytes in size is on the way.
  • Voice calls up to 32 participants : and in addition to there being more people, there will also be a new design of the call itself.

Community: new feature, usual security and privacy

The WhatsApp team also underlined how it is essential to guarantee the privacy and security of those who use their messaging app, also and above all with the arrival of the new Communities. In fact, a whole series of tools have been introduced, for administrators and users, in order to always guarantee a high level of security and privacy, to reduce disinformation and incorrect and unpleasant behavior.

  • Tools for administrators
    In addition to the above, administrators will be able to exclude groups or individual users from a Community, as well as delete inappropriate messages or content. To do this, they will have specific resources at their disposal.
  • Tools for users
    Users will also be able to do their part, reporting misuse, blocking unwanted accounts or voluntarily abandoning a particular Community. In addition, the “who can add me to groups” setting will also be extended to the Communities.
  • Various limits for communities
    WhatsApp is not a social media and it will not be possible to search for new communities. In order to avoid chaos and overloads, the general notice board of the Community will be viewable by all but only administrators will be able to interact with it and publish contents. Users will be able to chat in smaller groups which, however, will need to be created or approved by the administrators.
  • Limit the forwarding of messages against disinformation
    The confidentiality of conversations and the fight against disinformation are very important. For this purpose, message forwarding is restricted: messages that have already been forwarded can only be sent to one group at a time, unlike the five groups to which they can currently be forwarded.
  • End-to-end encryption and phone number privacy
    All messages within communities will also be protected by end-to-end encryption. In addition, the phone number of the members of a community will always be hidden: it will only be visible to the administrators and participants of the groups they belong to.
  • Interventions against offensive communities
    In the case of communities that engage in illegal activities, such as the dissemination of child pornography or the coordination of violent actions, WhatsApp will block all members or administrators of the community.

And that’s it. However, we do not have a specific release date for all these news. Zuckerberg states that the rollout of communities will start today, but slowly , and it will take months to complete it, especially since the same community concept will also be implemented on Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram  (in times and ways not yet explicit)

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