WhatsApp communities: what are they and how do I create one?

WhatsApp’s parent company, Meta, has released the much-anticipated “Communities‘ feature for WhatsApp. Although this new WhatsApp feature is similar to the ‘Groupsfeature on the app, the new feature provides larger, more structured discussion groups for its users – giving users the ability to organize and bring together related groups under one umbrella. And according to Meta, the new feature is designed to help organizations, clubs, schools and other private groups communicate better and stay organized.

WhatsApp Communities are now available to users with iOS and Android devices and should be available to everyone in the coming weeks. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Communities feature. Including how it differs from the Groups feature we have grown to love on WhatsApp

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How is it different from WhatsApp groups?

WhatsApp’s new Community feature comes with some new features – new features that won’t be available for Groups.

The new features include:

  • administrative controls
  • Support for subgroups
  • Voice and video calls for 32 people
  • sharing larger files (up to 2 GB)
  • emoji reactions
  • polls, etc.

While WhatsApp group chats max out at 256 participants, the new Communities features allow up to 1024 WhatsApp participants, and once you’re part of a community, your phone number will be hidden and only available to the administrator(s) of the community.

Related: WhatsApp is rolling out three new privacy features

Create communities on WhatsApp (iOS)

  • Open WhatsApp > tap New conversation > New community > Get started.
  • Enter the community name, description, and profile picture.
  • Tap Next one to add existing groups or create a new group.
  • Add groups to your community: Tap Create new group or Add existing group
  • When you’re done adding groups to your community, tap To create

Create communities on WhatsApp (Android)

WhatsApp Communities
  • Open WhatsApp > tap New conversation > New community.
WhatsApp Communities
  • Enter the community name, description, and profile picture.
  • The community name limit is 24 characters.
  • Tap the arrow icon to add existing groups or create a new group.
  • When you’re done adding groups to your community, tap the green check mark icon to create your community.

Basically, you need to update the WhatsApp app on your device to access the Communities feature. If you can’t find the feature after updating the app, you’ll have to wait a while as the feature is still being rolled out.

That being said, it might interest you to know that Telegram (Whatsapp’s biggest competitor) has a similar feature on its platform. This function is called “Channels“. Allows users to broadcast public messages to a large audience (unlimited subscribers)and alone administrators can post to channels. If you also use Telegram, you should check this out.

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