July 19, 2024

Although the update is not yet available on all smartphones, it has been enabled in key places, one of them being Latin America, where it can already be used in 4 countries on the continent.

It was in April of this year when Meta announced that WhatsApp Communities, the new messaging app tool, was already beginning to be tested on some users. Later, it was deployed to other countries and now is already available in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Colombia.

Paloma Szerman, Policy Manager for WhatsApp in Latin America, points out that this new feature began to be created as a result of the pandemic and the rise of “groups” that was on the rise after confinement and that it was maintained even when it ended in most of the countries.

“Much of our life necessarily had to move to ‘online’. A lot of our conversations, a lot of our interactions, that also made a lot of the WhatsApp groups that we used started to need more organic communication,” he explains.

The tool itself It consists of the creation of a “Community”, in which several groups related to the same theme can be integrated. For example, the community of a school or a work space, which encompasses everything, but has internal groups according to spaces, positions or ranks.

Szerman adds that “what it does is bring us a better organization experiencegives users the ability to organize and gather groups that are related by this common interest”.

How does WhatsApp Communities work?

Paloma Szerman emphasizes that this new tool makes it easier for the user to stay connected and up to date with what is happening in their daily spaces, such as work, university or even the neighborhood in which they live.

“What comes to be is encompass groups that are related by common intereststhen naturally groups are more likely to emerge and function organically,” he says.

Although WhatsApp Communities brings the bonus of organic communication, especially in workspaces, studios or large organizations, can also be used according to personal or entertainment interests. And it is that any user can access the tool.

“We identify these groups where it is most evident that they need organic communication, but the truth is that anyone who has groups that are related to each other and that make sense of being grouped together can use the tool“, details Szerman.


a safe space

From the app they indicate that There are several features that differentiate WhatsApp Communities from other apps with similar dynamics such as Discord, Slack or even Facebook groups.

So mentions the ‘end-to-end encryption’, a security tool that has been protecting the conversations of WhatsApp users for years. In addition, it explains 2 key components that make the difference.

“One is the chat or ad ‘channel’which is a space in which only community administrators will be able to share information”, he explains.

This would be the only space of a Community, which will be made up in principle by all the members of the community, but only the administrators will be able to share announcements, that is, common messages.

“The other component that it has is the ‘group directory’, if I am a member of a community I can see what groups make it up and choose to join the one that interests me the most. Always being able to leave those groups without leaving the community,” she comments.

Along the same lines, “open groups” and “closed groups” were also implemented, the latter being controlled by the administrators of the Community, who will decide who can enter those spaces.

The administrators will be responsible for the contents

This would be the first time that a third party will be able to have control over the content that each user broadcasts. in the app. Being in a Community, the administrators will have the possibility to eliminate messages that they consider “inappropriate” or that are not within the guidelines of the group.

“We did it because we understand that the manager of a community has additional responsibilities. When we use WhatsApp in groups or communities we do not want to receive reloads of information or communications that we should not be receiving“, justifies Szerman.

“We thought it was important that administrators have the opportunity to do this. To keep communities as a safe place, a place where certain rules of coexistence are respected“, he adds.

Although the update is not yet available on all smartphones, it has been enabled in key places, one of them being Latin America, where it can already be used in 4 countries. “We are now in the final phase of the product for some users and it will soon be global,” he concludes.

#WhatsApp #Communities #Chile #work

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