WhatsApp spotted developing a new Community feature: Details here
Popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp has been spotted working on a new feature called "Community" that resembles Discord's groups and channels in form and function. Speculation surrounding the feature first cropped up in October but now the feature has been spotted in pre-beta phase testing, suggesting it may be released for a wider audience soon. Here are all the details.
Communities will give administrators more powerful tools
According to screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is developing Communities to exist concurrently with groups. The feature will give administrators more tools and power to control and steer activities in a community. Additionally, each Community could function as a parent for several groups, just like Discord communities do for Discord channels. Communication should be end-to-end encrypted in WhatsApp's Communities.
WhatsApp tested a new icon shape, then quickly disabled it
Presently, the look and feel of the Community feature remain unknown. However, a clear distinction seen in the screenshots is that profile icons for Communities are square with rounded corners while groups and contacts have circular icons. WABetaInfo noted the new icon shape was enabled before being quickly disabled by WhatsApp in October. More details would emerge when the feature enters the beta-testing phase.
Users could be invited to Communities just like groups
Administrators and members of Communities are expected to be able to add participants using invite links shared privately or publicly, just like invites for WhatsApp Groups. The feature was first spotted in October by XDA-Developers during an APK teardown of the latest WhatsApp beta build at the time. The teardown confirmed that Communities will exist alongside groups and not replace them.
Presently, the details about the tools Communities would offer, when the feature will be launched, and how it will be used remain unknown since WhatsApp has not confirmed that Communities will become publicly available. In related news, WhatsApp recently rolled out image editing tools for WhatsApp Web alongside redesigned link previews and a new sticker recommendations feature.