Apps

WhatsApp is finally giving us a glimpse of Communities but you probably can’t use it yet

Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced communities for WhatsApp. Now, months later, the company has started roll it out to select beta users.

Published:Thu, August 25, 2022 12:13pm

By Shweta Ganjoo

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Meta-owned WhatsApp, back in April this year, announced Communities for WhatsApp. At the time, the company had said that Communities will be available to users across the globe later this year. Now, nearly four months later WhatsApp has started giving select users a glimpse of what the functionality would look like and how it would work.

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According to a report by WABetaInfo, the blog that tracks developments in WhatsApp, the company has started rolling out Communities to select users who are running the latest beta version of WhatsApp on Android, that is, WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.22.19.3.

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As per the screenshots shared by the blog site, Communities will be available in WhatsApp as a separate tab. This tab will appear alongside other tabs including Chats, Status and Calls in the top menu in case of the company's Android app. Upon tapping on the Communities tab, users will be greeted will a screen that will introduce the functionality. The following screen will provide them with better details about the feature. "Easily organise your related groups and send announcements. Now, your communities, like neighbourhoods and schools, can have their own space," WhatsApp's welcome screen for Communities says.

Apart from this, WhatsApp users, on tapping the Communities tab will also be able to create their own communities and keep a track of and interact in the ones that they have not created but are a part of. The blog site says that WhatsApp users will be able to create a community by adding up to 10 groups that are called 'sub-groups'. These sub-group will house up to 512 participants as is the case with the regular groups in the messaging app. On creating a community, a new group will be created automatically by WhatsApp. WhatsApp will also inform the added members about the change.

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Furthermore, the report says that when the functionality is available, a community member will be able to choose which sub-group to join based on their personal preferences. They will also be able to leave a sub-group without leaving a community. Additionally, Community admins will be able to disable a community if they don't want to use it anymore, and other members can report the community to WhatsApp if it violates their terms of service.

The blog site notes that at the moment, WhatsApp is working on hiding phone numbers in sub-groups of a community, so other members of the community don't see each other's phone numbers. "Unfortunately, this privacy feature is not included in this "first version" of WhatsApp Communities so we should expect it to be released in the future," the blog site wrote.

Notably, this functionality is available to select users. So, don't worry if you don't see this feature in the app right now. It is possible that it will be available to more beta users in the coming days. There is no word on the availability for iOS beta users yet.

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