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WhatsApp makes Communities official including admin features, more

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp has announced Communities, a way for people to run a collection of groups.
  • Groups now feature message reactions and more.

WhatsApp has announced its new Communities feature including new admin capabilities and more. The Communities feature has been available in various forms to beta users for some time — now it's available to all.

WhatsApp announced the new changes via blog post, saying that the Communities feature is aimed squarely at schools, local clubs, and non-profits as a way to allow them to have an overarching connection of group chats.

Here's where Communities comes in. Communities on WhatsApp will enable people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella with a structure that works for them. That way people can receive updates sent to the entire Community and easily organize smaller discussion groups on what matters to them. Communities will also contain powerful new tools for admins, including announcement messages that are sent to everyone and control over which groups can be included.

Alongside Communities, WhatsApp is changing how groups work including — finally! — adding message reactions that will allow people to react to a message without having to add their own, creating clutter throughout the entire group.

Other features include the ability for administrators to delete messages and more.

  • Reactions – Emoji reactions are coming to WhatsApp so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages.
  • Admin Delete – Group admins will be able to remove errant or problematic messages from everyone's chats.
  • File Sharing – We're increasing file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects.
  • Larger Voice Calls – We'll introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with all new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting.

WhatsApp was already one of the best iPhone apps for people who wanted to stay in touch with friends and families, these changes make it even better for communities, too.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.