WhatsApp is officially launching Communities, its new discussion group feature that first entered into testing earlier this year.
Developed to help organizations, clubs, schools, and other private groups better communicate and stay organized, the new feature brings a number of new characteristics to the platform, including admin controls, support for sub-groups and announcement groups, 32-person voice and video calls, larger file sharing, emoji reactions, and polls.
Moreover, Communities can support groups of up to 1024 users and offer end-to-end encryption.
Some of the features designed for Communities, like emoji reactions, large file sharing (up to 2GB), and the ability for admins to delete messages, had already made their way to the WhatsApp platform ahead of today’s launch.
Meanwhile, the company affirmed that polls, 32-person video calls, and larger group sizes will also be supported on WhatsApp more broadly outside of Communities.
In an announcement, WhatsApp stressed the encryption aspects of the Communities feature, noting that the company is “aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else.”
“The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” it said.