In April, social messaging app WhatsApp announced it was working on a new ‘Communities’ feature, a way for separate groups to come “under one umbrella,” in what sounded like a hopeful competitor to Slack. Now, the feature is available for beta users.
The Meta-owned messaging platform has been slowly rolling out incremental updates over the last few months: groups sizes doubled to 512 people, 32-person video calls, an increased 2GB file-sharing limit, emoji reactions, “last seen” statuses that let you hide it from certain people, and now, Communities.
According to WhatsApp, Communities is now available in “limited countries.” If you have the feature available to you already, you can add up to 10 groups under one community. Communities also gives group admins more power; they can remove messages they deem “errant or problematic” and can send announcement messages to everyone in the group. Members can also break off into smaller discussion groups within that Community.
According to WABetaInfo, Communities will appear in a separate tab on the app. The website also published a screenshot showing the Communities tab sitting where the camera icon would ordinarily be on the app.
WhatsApp is working on even more features up ahead: you could soon exit group chats silently (without the fuss that inevitably occurs when you leave).