Meta has announced the introduction of a new feature called ‘WhatsApp Communities’ to its WhatsApp chat app.
This was made known today, Thursday, 14th April 2022 through Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta Inc., the parent platform of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.
Zuckerberg had through a Facebook post announced that the new feature on WhatsApp will give a deeper level of digital interaction amongst the over 2 billion users of the platform.
The 37-year old tech CEO in the update described the new features as an ‘important evolution for WhatsApp and online communication overall.
“Today we’re starting to test a major evolution of WhatsApp that we’ve been working on: WhatsApp Communities”, he wrote in a Facebook post.
On the concerns on the security and encryption, he said:
“It’s been clear for a while that the way we communicate online is changing. Most of us use social networks and feeds to discover interesting content and stay updated. But for a deeper level of interaction, messaging has become the centre of our digital lives. It’s more intimate and private, and with encryption it’s more secure too.”
“Our messaging services are built around one-to-one text messaging — and that will stay the core of what we do. But we’ve also been working on building out the next generation of private messaging. With a focus on privacy, safety and security, we’ve added video chats, voice messages, stories, commerce, payments and more to WhatsApp and Messenger. With today’s launch, we’re taking this further and enabling people to not only communicate with close friends and contacts, but also with all of the different communities in your life.”
“This might be a school community with chats where important announcements for parents are shared and discussed, or a work community with chats to discuss different things with colleagues, or a neighbourhood community to talk about what’s happening on your street or in your building. A lot of people tell us they want to use WhatsApp for this since it’s the quickest way to stay in touch with people, but until now the product hasn’t been built in a way that makes this easy.”
On the main purpose for the rollout of the new feature, Zuckerberg said it was done to organise users group chats and find information.
“We built WhatsApp Communities to make it much easier to organize all your group chats and find information. You’ll be able to bring different group together into one community — for example, in addition to individual groups for different classes, you might have one overall community for parents at a school with a central place for announcements and tools for admins.”
The Meta Inc CEO also added that other new features like reactions, bigger group calls will be added together with large file sharing.
“And because this is WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption and safety features will be built in from the start.”
“We’re going to start rolling this out slowly, but I expect this to be an important evolution for WhatsApp and online communication overall. In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together. We’ll be building community messaging features for Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram as well. I’m excited to see how this progresses as we start testing WhatsApp Communities today and roll it out over the coming months”, he added.
Meta Inc has over the years continued to tweak it’s features while making significant changes to it’s policies on it’s shared infrastructure platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp).
The brand has been in the forefront of the 3D iteration of the internet known as Metaverse, culminating in the company name change last year from Facebook Inc to Meta Inc.
The social media giant in it’s announcement last year said the rebranding is coming on the heels of the company’s resolve to represent the future beyond it’s social network, while pivoting its ambitions for the virtual reality version of the internet, it sees as the future.