WhatsApp has launched a new feature called Communities.
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.
This feature will be beneficial to large organizations using WhatsApp as a messaging service as it will make it possible for easy discussions across the different groups.
Admins will be responsible for creating and managing the Communities, they can choose which groups become part of their Community by forming new groups or by linking pre-existing groups. Community admins will also be able to unlink groups from the Community and remove individual members from the Communities. In addition, group admins will be able to delete inappropriate or abusive chats or media for all members of a group
Only Community admins will be able to send messages to all Community members using a special announcement group for the community.
WhatsApp is also constraining forwarding to keep conversations private. In Communities, messages that have already been forwarded will only be able to be forwarded to one group at a time, rather than five.
WhatsApp says it will continue to protect messages with end-to-end encryption so that only the members of the respective groups can see them and no one else. This security technology protects the sensitive conversations among organizations, workplaces, and personal groups.
To help protect user privacy, your phone number will be hidden from the Community at large and only be visible to Community admins and others in the same group as you. This will help prevent unwanted contact and will also reduce the risk of scraping people’s phone numbers.
WhatsApp says whenever it becomes aware of Communities engaging in abuse such as distributing child sexual abuse material or coordinating violence or human trafficking, it will ban individual Community members or admins, disband a Community, or ban all members of a Community. It will rely on all available unencrypted information including the Community name, description, and user reports to take appropriate action.
WhatsApp will continue to build support for Communities in the months and years to come and as always we will continue to listen closely to feedback from users about how we can help people connect privately, safely, and securely.