On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, announced what seems to be a very important feature – WhatsApp communities, designed to help organisations communicate better. WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users (Reported in 2021) worldwide. Therefore the announcement created a lot of buzz and was covered by all major media outlets. Enough of the intro, let’s hop into all the new features that are rolled out with this Whatsapp update and discuss each one:
- More admin controls
- Creating subgroups and announcement groups
- Adding 32-person audio and video calls & extensive file sharing
- Addition of poll features
- Focus on Privacy
You may argue that all these features were already there on Facebook Messenger and Telegram. What’s new here, there are some subtle differences that we are going to walk through.
More admin controls- The latest rollout will give more power to admins. It is designed to help organisations, schools and other private business groups. New admin tools and moderation controls will empower admins to form new groups or unlink groups from the community. Users will also have more control over being added to communities, and they can report accounts and leave communities silently.
Creating subgroups and announcement groups- With the new rollout, the users can now create subgroups within a group, thus making it easier to create threads regarding a particular discussion. The other thing is the announcement groups that alert everyone about the crucial messages on which the members can chat in small groups, thus preventing the bombardment of messages from all group members.
Adding 32-person audio/video calls & Sharing Larger Files- With the new rollout, 32 people can be added to the audio and video calls. Before that, only eight people could be added. Also, the admin can create a group of 1024 users. It is a great feature that will allow businesses to hold meetings in large groups. The size of the file you can share now is also bumped up. Now you can share files up to 2GB, which will benefit businesses.
Addition of poll features- WhatsApp has introduced a poll feature that will allow the group members to vote on the choosing the party locations, which movie to watch or when to plan the next meet-up. The admin can create a poll of a maximum of 12 answers that can include emojis that adds an element of fun. The new feature will make it easy for people to answer questions and coordinate well.
Focus on Privacy- When it comes to Meta (previously known as Facebook), they are not associated with privacy, especially after the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. With the latest rollout, the social media giant has made many changes that make end-to-end encryption far more secure, which is another excellent reason to use the new discussion feature.
Undoubtedly, adding all these features will make WhatsApp, which is already the most popular messenger app, way more exciting. These updates also seem to be targeted towards enhancing business communication and enabling the (in)formal communication with ease. Not all the features will be available to everyone instantly. They will be made available to a limited number of users. WhatsApp has not promised any fixed date, but all the features will eventually be available to the broader public in the coming days.