When Meta acquired WhatsApp, the app only offered a relatively basic messaging function, allowing texting between two people, or group messages. After the takeover, Mark Zuckerberg’s company made the app free, and made it a communication channel between companies and their customers.
And today, WhatsApp is opening up to new uses, thanks to the “Communities” function. This was presented several months ago and today it is finally deployed by Meta.
Better organized discussions
If you’re used to communicating on Slack or Discord, WhatsApp communities will be familiar to you. Indeed, Meta seems to have been inspired by these apps to develop this novelty.
Classic WhatsApp groups are suitable for your discussions with your parents and uncles, or close circles of friends. On the other hand, for neighborhood associations, groups of parents of students, colleagues within a company with a large number of employees, or even large groups of people sharing a common passion, “Communities” are more adequate.
Indeed, in these communities, admins can create several channels, for each discussion topic. This avoids anarchic message flows in a single channel.
A community can have multiple discussion groups
For example, if you are in a community of gamers, you can have a channel for discussing tournaments, and another for mutual aid. Besides that, admins will be able to easily broadcast announcements for all members. Restaurant employees can have one channel to discuss menus, and another to discuss organization.
And Meta has equipped WhatsApp with interesting functions for companies, such as the possibility of making video calls with 32 participants, or the possibility of transferring large files. The little extra of WhatsApp is security. Indeed, like person-to-person chats, messages sent in communities are end-to-end encrypted.
“With Communities, we want to provide a better way for organizations, businesses and other groups to communicate, with an unparalleled level of privacy and security”indicates the messaging service. “Alternatives available today require trusting apps or software vendors that keep a copy of your messages. We have chosen to protect your messages in the most secure way possible with end-to-end encryption.”
Other new features that will be useful in communities and single groups
Alternatively, now WhatsApp groups can accommodate up to 1,024 members. And administrators can delete messages. The app allows you to create polls, and react to messages with emoji reactions.
According to WhatsApp, these functions are available throughout the app. But they will be very useful in the communities.
Otherwise, it should be remembered that a similar function was announced for the Facebook application. It integrates Messenger and Facebook groups, to allow communities to better organize discussions.
A future cash machine?
Today, although WhatsApp is very popular, the application does not generate much money for Meta. Indeed, the app does not display advertisements in our discussions.
To generate revenue, WhatsApp currently offers paid features for businesses, as well as a paid version of its WhatsApp Business app. And it is possible that later, Meta will also offer a premium version of communities, which would allow for new features.