Popular Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp today announced the launch of a new “Communities” feature, which is designed to allow people to bring together separate groups under a single umbrella. WhatsApp says that this will give people a way to receive updates that are sent to an entire community, and then organize smaller discussion groups on important topics.


So, for example, school parents could create an overarching “School” community, which breaks out into smaller groups based on grade and other factors. Community admins will have access to “powerful new tools” like announcement messages and control over the groups that can be created within a community.

We think Communities will make it easier for a school principal to bring all the parents of the school together to share must-read updates and set up groups about specific classes, extracurricular activities, or volunteer needs.

WhatsApp is also adding a number of improvements for groups, including emoji reactions for reacting to messages, an admin delete feature that will allow problematic messages to be removed from everyone’s chats, file sharing with support for files up to 2GB, and one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people.

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