WhatsApp unveils new 'Communities' feature, makes changes

WhatsApp unveils new 'Communities' feature, makes changes
The roll out of the new 'Commiunities' feature is scheduled later this year.

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by the American Meta unveiled new features Thursday including one that makes it possible to bring together separate chat groups under one umbrella.

Dubbed “Communities”, the feature enables administrators to bring together separate discussion groups in one space and thus address a big number of people.

The roll out of the new feature is scheduled later this year, the messaging platform announced Thursday.

In particular, the platform says the new “Communities” feature will help to meet the needs of certain structures and organizations like schools, local clubs, and non-profit organizations relying on WhatsApp to communicate and get things done.

“That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them,” the platform said in a blog post.

For instance, the platform hopes the new feature will make it easier for a school principal to bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs.

Additional changes

The messaging app seeks to introduce a number of improvements to how WhatsApp groups work. According to the company statement, the following features are set for roll out in the coming weeks:

  • Group admins will be able to delete messages posted by any member. Once deleted, the messages won't be visible to all members.
  • WhatsApp is increasing file sharing up to 2GB from the current cap of 1GB. It will allow people to easily collaborate on projects. 
  • The maximum number of participants in a voice call increased to 32 people, from five people currently.