WhatsApp confirms Communities feature; gives details of 2GB file sharing and other updates

WhatsApp has confirmed it is bringing the new ‘groups’ feature Communities to the instant messaging platform. “Communities on WhatsApp – a new feature to help users organise their chats on WhatsApp,” is how the company describes it. “While other apps are building chats for hundreds of thousands of people, we’re choosing to focus on supporting the groups that are part of our daily lives. It’s early days for Communities on WhatsApp and building the new features to support them will be a major focus of ours for the year to come. We can’t wait to get Communities in people’s hands and are looking forward to people’s feedback,” added the company.
Along with Communities, WhatsApp users will also get a slew of other features. “We’re also making several improvements to how groups work on WhatsApp — whether or not they are part of a Community. We think these will help people share in new ways and reduce overload in larger chats. These features are rolling out in the coming weeks so people can start trying them out even before Communities are ready.” Here are the details:
Communities feature to organise multiple groups
Communities feature on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. Users can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organise smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. Communities will also contain new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.
“Communities are inherently private, which is why we will continue to protect messages with end-to-end encryption. This security technology has truly never been more necessary to protect people’s privacy and safety. Close-knit groups — schools, members of a religious congregation, even businesses — very much want and need to be able to have secure and private conversations without WhatsApp monitoring their every word,” added the company in the statement.
Instagram and Facebook Messenger like emoji reactions
WhatsApp is bringing message reactions similar to the ones available on Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The feature allows users to react to messages. Users will just have to tap and hold a message that they want to react to and then drag their finger to the appropriate emoji. The reaction will appear below the text and will be visible to all members in the group.
Admin tool to delete message from any other user
With the upcoming updates, WhatsApp group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats. Till now, only senders were allowed to delete their messages.
File sharing capacity increased to 2GB
Currently, you can only share a file as large as 100mb on WhatsApp but with the upcoming updates, the platform will be able to support file transfer of up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on a project.
Voice calls get new design and support for up to 32 users
WhatsApp will introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with a new design. The company is changing the design of the app window seen during group voice calls. The platform is adding voice waveforms for all participants during a group call. The voice waveforms are similar to the ones seen in voice notes. The changes in the design are quite minimal but they provide a refreshed look to the page.


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