Technology

WhatsApp prepares “Communities”, the function to improve groups and compete with Discord

WhatsApp is experiencing a new feature: bringing together several of its groups under a more global kind of community. Its operation will be similar to that of the Discord channels and subchannels.

The messaging service, WhatsApp, continues to add new features to its communication environment to incorporate into the package of future updates. These days he’s testing one of the biggest innovations in quite some time: Communities.

WhatsApp wants to be Discord: traces of "communities" that include groups in its beta discovered
Communities, WhatsApp’s answer to keeping track of Telegram and Discord.

As anticipated by the WABetaInfo portal, the company’s developers would be working on a function that would grant administrators the power to create a community to contain one or more groups within it.

Unlike  Telegram, its closest rival, which has the channels, WhatsApp hasn’t improved group chats in a long time. In this sense, the  Communities intend to become the great qualitative leap.

In this way, a Community would be comprised of a series of group chats. A space on Science Fiction, for example, can become a community and each book or movie that is commented on could lead to a new group.

The idea is to add other people manually or via a ‘community invite link ‘, shared privately or publicly.

In addition, it is noted that community chat is nothing like a social network: it is still a private place, protected by end-to-end encryption.

Access to the communities, at least in their current state of development, will be through an invitation sent by the community administrators.

The tools to create a community on WhatsApp.  Photo WABetaInfo
The tools to create a community on WhatsApp.

The question remains as to whether, as in Telegram, it will be possible to generate an access link that can be disseminated by any means, and that allows users to join it.

What is not clear at the moment is whether a user could be part of only one of the groups, without having to join the entire community in which they are integrated.

The community is a space where group administrators can have control over other users to group them. In this case, from the structural point of view, they will be similar to how the channels work in the Discord ‘app’, where each channel can branch into other options.

The concept of Communities is still in development in the beta of WhatsApp for  Android and iOS, so its interface and characteristics may change before its official launch.

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As The Verge points out, by working on the new feature, WhatsApp is trying to close the gap that separates it from other competitors like Telegram and Signal.

WhatsApp Web offline on cell phone

After several weeks of development in the form of Beta, WhatsApp began to activate the new multi-device mode for all users,  both for the web version and for the desktop software. This ambitious new feature allows you to use an account without the main device being connected to the internet.

It is no longer necessary to have the cell phone on to follow a chat.
It is no longer necessary to have the cell phone on to follow a chat.

Therefore, it will be possible to continue holding conversations if the cell phone runs out of battery or does not have a stable connection. Also maintaining the synchronization of conversations and multimedia content.

The process to activate the new WhatsApp multi-device mode is very similar to the one that the messaging app used in the previous version.

If a contact sends a WhatsApp message from the PC, the application will send it directly to the recipient, while also backing up the chat to the main device in order to have the messages synchronized. Previously, the smartphone always acted as an intermediary in this process.

Ethan Hansen

Ethan Hansen is executive vice president for finance and operations at Leilo Sports. Before joining PNC in 2021, he founded snewslog to help early-stage companies (Seed through Series B). Previously, Cohen worked in consulting (strategy and innovation), private equity (operationally focused investing) and investment banking (M&A).

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