WhatsApp Communities lets you message groups at the same time

A group for groups? WhatsApp’s new Communities feature lets you place several group chats TOGETHER and message them all at the same time

  • WhatsApp has unveiled a new tool today called Communities 
  • Users can place several groups under one topic and share updates with them all 
  • Mark Zuckerberg said the change was an ‘important evolution’ for WhatsApp 

Whether it’s in your neighbourhood or at your child’s school, there are often situations when it would be useful to message several groups at once. 

Now, WhatsApp has unveiled a new tool called Communities, which essentially lets you do just that. 

Users will be able to place several group chats together under one topic and share updates with them all.   

In a blog announcing the update, WhatsApp explained: ‘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 organise 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.’

The Meta-owned messaging app said it would begin rolling out the feature slowly and as a test, but Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said the change was an ‘important evolution’ for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp users will be able to place several group chats together under one topic and share updates with them all

New group features coming to WhatsApp 

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 – WhatsApp is increasing file sharing to support files up to 2 gigabytes so people can easily collaborate on projects.

Larger Voice Calls – WhatsApp will introduce one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people with all new design for those times when talking live is better than chatting. 

The new tool will allow users to organise different group chats together under a single main topic, for example, their children’s school or the street they live on, with Community admins able to share messages with everyone and have control over which groups can be included.

‘We built WhatsApp Communities to make it much easier to organise all your group chats and find information,’ Mr Zuckerberg said.

‘You’ll be able to bring different groups together into one community – for example, in addition to individual groups for different classes, you might have one overall community for parents at a school with a central place for announcements and tools for admins.

‘We’re going to start rolling this out slowly, but I expect this to be an important evolution for WhatsApp and online communication overall.

‘In the same way that social feeds took the basic technology behind the internet and made it so anyone could find people and content online, I think community messaging will take the basic protocols behind one-to-one messaging and extend them so you can communicate more easily with groups of people to get things done together.’ 

Alongside the Communities feature, WhatsApp has announced a number of other updates coming to group chats. 

This includes the ability to use emoji reactions in response to specific messages, an increase in file sharing to now support up to 2GB of material and voice calls that can now support up to 32 people. 

‘Communities are inherently private, which is why we will continue to protect messages with end-to-end encryption,’ WhatsApp added.

‘This security technology has truly never been more necessary to protect people’s privacy and safety. 

The Meta-owned messaging app said it would begin rolling out the feature slowly and as a test, but Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) said the change was an ‘important evolution’ for WhatsApp

‘Close knit groups — schools, members of a religious congregation, even businesses — very much want and need to be able to have secure and private conversations without WhatsApp monitoring their every word.’

A similar Community feature will also be introduced on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram in the future, according to Mr Zuckerberg. 

‘It’s early days for Communities on WhatsApp and building the new features to support them will be a major focus of ours for the year to come,’ WhatsApp concluded.

‘We can’t wait to get Communities in people’s hands and are looking forward to people’s feedback.’ 


If you’re considering deleting WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps to choose from:

1. Telegram

With more than 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives. 

While it looks very similar to WhatsApp, what sets it apart is the fact that it gives the option to set messages to self-destruct after a given period of time, leaving no trace. 

Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.

However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram ‘does not offer end-to-end encryption by default so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp’.

2. Signal 

Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to the fact that it is open-source. 

This means that the code for the app is publicly available to view, making it near-impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in any backdoors that could allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.

3. iMessage

If you use an iPhone, you may consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app. 

The app has a number of impressive features included no character limits, the ability to send pictures and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.

Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to interact with anyone using an Android. 

4. Google Messages

Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, an Android-only messaging service. 

The app replaces your standard SMS app, and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use Google Assistant. 

5. Facebook Messenger

If you were put off using WhatsApp due to its sharing of data with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.

However, the app offers a number of helpful features, including games, secret conversations and video calls. 

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