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WhatsApp’s New Discussion Feature ‘Communities’ Rolled out Globally

Communities like neighborhoods, parents at a school, and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organize group conversations on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has officially begun rolling out its new feature ‘Communities’ globally and this will be available to everyone over the next few months. First announced in April this year and made available for beta users in August — the feature enables people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them.

“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else,” the company writes in its blog. They further noted that they worked with over 50 organizations in 15 countries to build Communities.

The feature comes with added support for tools like file sharing, polls, support for sub-groups, 32-person video calls, and emoji reactions, in addition to giving group admins the ability to remove messages they deem “errant or problematic” and can share announcement messages to everyone in the group. Members can also break off into smaller discussion groups within that Community.

You can have a WhatsApp community with up to 50 groups in addition to the announcement group which will be automatically created for your community. Furthermore, you can have up to 5,000 members in the community announcement group, and communities themselves can support groups of up to 1024 users and offer end-to-end encryption.

Within the Community, the phone numbers will be hidden and only made visible to admins and others in the same sub-groups as you. Also, there will not be a search and discovery feature available on WhatsApp Communities as they are hidden and you have to be invited to join.

Here’s how to create a Community

1. Open WhatsApp >> tap New chat >> New Community >> Get Started.

2. Enter the community name, description, and profile photo.

3. Tap Next to add existing groups or create a new group.

4. Add groups to your community

  • Tap Create New Group or Add Existing Group.
  • Create New Group: Enter the group subject. This will be the name of the group that all participants will see.
  • You can create up to 10 new groups.
  • You can add a group icon as well as a short description of the group.
  • You can add participants later.
  • Add Existing Group: You can choose to add groups you’re currently an admin of to your community. Select which groups to add then tap Next.

5. When finished adding groups to your community, tap Create.

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