“Today we’re launching Communities on WhatsApp. It makes groups better by enabling sub-groups, multiple threads, announcement channels, and more. We’re also rolling out polls and 32 person video calling too. All secured by end to end encryption so your messages stay private,” Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the launch of the feature.
The app will now also allow chat groups to have up to 1,024 users, much higher than the 256 participants restriction it had until recently, according to a company statement. WhatsApp sees Communities as a “directory of groups” and anyone will be able to run a community of their own on the platform and then invite multiple groups to join in. However, these groups will only get added to the Community if the admins of the group have accepted the invite. The way WhatsApp sees it there could one community for a certain company with multiple groups from the company getting added to it. Or there could be a Community of all the different parent-teacher groups from one school.
It should be noted that WhatsApp will continue with the end-to-end encryption in Communities as well. Further, only those in a particular group will be able to see the messages in that group. The community, though has a broadcast option to message everyone across groups, but it will be visible only to those who have allowed these messages.