With Clubhouse gaining a lot of popularity back in 2021, it was reported that Meta was looking to develop something similar for its own products. We’ve already seen other social media platforms develop something of their own, so it wasn’t exactly out of the question that Meta wanted in on the action as well.
For those who use WhatsApp, it appears that the feature is now live and is known as Communities. This is essentially a massive group chat where organizations can create official groups for the public to join. According to WhatsApp:
“Here’s where Communities comes in. Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them.”
What makes this different from a regular group chat is that it exists outside of chats and will have its own separate tab in the WhatsApp app. While many organizations have probably already created their own groups, Communities will help make it a bit more official and won’t be lost amongst the list of other chats users might have going on.
In a way it is similar to Telegram’s Channels which are used by organizations to make announcements. There is also a new voice call feature that allows up to 32 people to participate at once, similar to Clubhouse. Users will also be able to share larger-sized files up to 2GB.
The new feature is currently being tested out and is expected to roll out in the coming weeks.