WhatsApp has once again taken a step back to communities

Change is in the air as WhatsApp takes a moment to delve into the intricacies of its Communities once again. Prepare to be amazed as new features and UI changes are on the horizon, promising an enhanced experience.

WhatsApp is often locked in a never-ending race to catch up with Telegram. However, let’s not overlook the fact that the features it introduces are meticulously designed to align seamlessly with WhatsApp’s user-friendly interface.

Although WhatsApp initially introduced us to Communities not too long ago, this ingenious concept is due for a new introduction. Meta’s skilled engineers have initiated a change, evident in the recent beta version of the app.

Communities act as umbrella organisations, uniting various groups under a single entity. They bear a striking resemblance to channels found in Discord servers or Slack workspaces.

Each group revolves around a distinct yet interconnected theme, granting members the freedom to select their preferred communities. Should you find yourself unfamiliar with this concept, fear not! WhatsApp offers an informative introduction graphic within the Communities tab, guiding you through the process.

Notably, version of the Android app introduces a significant update discovered by WABetaInfo. WhatsApp now emphasises that Communities bring multiple groups together, creating a unified space.

This remarkable feature includes a dedicated Community Announcements group, facilitating seamless communication between administrators and participants. You can join any group within the community, although certain configurations may require administrator approval.

But that’s not all! WhatsApp has also transformed the appearance of Communities, and their associated group chats in your chat list. Previously, Communities were distinguished by a squircle icon, deviating from the circular icons assigned to individual and group chats.

Meanwhile, groups linked to Communities sported stacked circular icons. WABetaInfo reports that in version, you’ll notice a squircle icon with a megaphone nestled in the lower-right corner for the Community Announcements group.

Furthermore, Community-linked group conversations now exhibit the community’s squircle icon, adorned with a small group icon in the lower-right corner.

Thanks to this transformative change, differentiating Community conversations from private groups has always been challenging. The former showcases the distinctive squircle icon, while the latter retains circular ones. Additionally, WhatsApp enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn about another experimental feature in testing. 

This upcoming addition allows users to define an expiration date for pinned messages. Imagine the convenience when dealing with time-sensitive information, such as details regarding the next meteor shower in an astrophotography group.

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WhatsApp is diligently developing message expiration timers, offering three predefined options: 24 hours, seven days, and 30 days. Regrettably, custom expiration dates remain unavailable at present. Fear not; you can always manually override the timer by unpinning the message at your discretion.

Exciting times lie ahead as the revised iconography and feature introductions for Communities gradually roll out to beta channel users via the Google Play Store. Stay alert, as more testers will soon have the opportunity to experience these updates firsthand.

However, it’s important to note that pinned message timers are still under development, leaving us in suspense regarding their beta release. These advancements promise to revolutionise information dissemination within WhatsApp Communities and groups.

Embark on this captivating journey of discovery with WhatsApp. Unite, communicate, and embrace the spirit of a community like never before. The WhatsApp revolution is on the horizon!

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