WhatsApp may be working on a Communities feature

Evidence is mounting that WhatsApp may be working on a Communities feature. XDA Developers first spotted the possibility in October, but now WABetaInfo has come forward with similar findings.

According to WABetaInfo, the Communities feature appears to give group admins more power over groups. This includes the ability to create groups within groups, which may be similar to how channels are arranged beneath an umbrella Discord community.

WhatsApp Communities feature

Admins may be able to invite new users via a Community Invite Link and then start messaging other members. It’s hard to tell how exactly these chats might look right now, but WABetaInfo notes that they appear to be end-to-end encrypted.

It also looks like a subtle design change will help distinguish Communities from regular group chats. As WABetaInfo points out, community icons will be squares with rounded corners, a format that WhatsApp mistakenly enabled (and then quickly disabled) in October. There’s no word on when Communities will be officially rolled out.

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By working on a Communities feature, WhatsApp may be trying to close the widening gap between it and other messaging apps like Telegram and Signal. Earlier this year, WhatsApp’s new privacy policy caused confusion among users about what it would share with parent company Facebook, sparking a mass exodus to those other apps. When WhatsApp went down along with Facebook’s entire network of apps last month, Telegram gained a whopping 70 million users.

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