The Communities feature for WhatsApp has been in the works for a long time and is a significant addition to the platform. Unlike WhatsApp Groups, which are bucketed alongside one-on-one chats within the WhatsApp UI, Communities gets a dedicated tab for itself. From the blog post announcing the change, it is evident that the Communities feature will let group admins better organize their group chats. With Communities, admins will be able to collate multiple groups under a single community. They will get the ability to relay important messages to the community as a whole without having to do the same for individual groups. For example, Admins can create a WhatsApp community for everyone that lives within a gated (housing) community. Within this community, however, there could be multiple groups consisting of people with specific interests.
In addition to WhatsApp Communities, WhatsApp users will now be able to add as many as 32 participants in a single video call session. Another interesting addition is the newfound ability to create in-chat polls. WhatsApp also confirmed that the app now supports the transfer of even larger file sizes (up to 2 GB).
WhatsApp claims it worked with more than 50 organizations spread across 15 countries to create and test the functionality of WhatsApp Communities. The company intends to add even more features to the app in the coming months. If you have yet to see the Communities feature on WhatsApp, ensure that you are on the latest version of the app and wait for WhatsApp to gradually roll out the feature for you.