WhatsApp's answer to Discord may be group chat 'communities'

You could link group chats together.

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Jon Fingas
November 8, 2021 1:24 PM
WhatsApp Messenger on Android
Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

WhatsApp group chats may soon behave more like Discord servers. WABetaInfo and The Verge have learned WhatsApp is developing a Communities feature (initially spotted at XDA) that lets administrators unite group chats under a larger umbrella. You'd have a top-level Community chat with smaller group chats tied to it — for instance, you could have a Community for a college course with study group chats linked to that parent.

All of the chats would behave much like they do today, with end-to-end encryption. Admins could invite people to join the community either manually or by sharing an invitation link. Those overseers would also have tools to manage a given community, although details aren't available at this stage.

WABetaInfo expected Communities to appear in a future WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS, although it didn't know when. We'd add that features like this aren't guaranteed to launch, and might get cut.

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Not now

It's easy to see Communities launching before too long, though. This wouldn't replace Discord for gamers, but it might fulfill a similar role for classes, fan groups and others that want to tie multiple chats together. It could be particularly important in countries like Brazil and India, where WhatsApp is frequently a mainstay of people's digital lives.

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