In April this year, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced Whatsapp Communities, letting users create sub-groups within groups.
Mark Zuckerberg called the feature a “major evolution of WhatsApp” and revealed that it had entered the testing phase.
Since communities would be a significant addition to the messaging, WhatsApp planned to roll it out slowly.
WhatsApp was first spotted working on communities in November 2021, so the feature has been under development for a long time.
As per a new report by WABetaInfo, the communities tab is showing up for certain users who updated to WhatsApp beta v2.22.193 on Android.
The feature reportedly may not appear for all beta users on the latest version right away, and some may have to force close the app and restart it first.
For those who do get access to the feature, a new communities tab will be visible on the main WhatsApp screen, which will replace the camera tab on the left.
Those who can see the new communities tab will be able to create a community with up to 10 groups in it and support up to 512 participants.
When a user starts a community, WhatsApp automatically creates an announcement group that includes all sub-group members.
This makes it easy for admins to send common messages to everyone at once.
Additionally, admins can disable the community altogether if they wish to.
Though, at the time being, WhatsApp does not hide phone numbers inside sub-groups. So members will be able to see each other’s contact information — until WhatsApp rolls out the ability to hide one’s phone number as the messaging service is also working on hiding the numbers of sub-group members from other participants for privacy reasons.
WhatsApp Communities are ideal for those managing schools or a neighborhood. This way, they get to keep all of the relevant sub-groups inside a common hub.
A community member can decide which sub-group to join based on their interest. They can also exit the sub-group whenever they want without leaving the community itself.