WhatsApp has announced two new features coming to the Meta-owned messaging app that are designed to improve the privacy of community group chats while also making it easier to find groups users have in common. Both new features will roll out globally “over the coming weeks.”
The updates are related to the WhatsApp community tab — group chats designed for large collections of people (such as organizations and schools) to house multiple related sub-groups, akin to something like Slack or Discord. WhatsApp Communities rolled out last year and currently supports up to 5,000 users, video calls for up to 32 participants, and group-wide admin announcements.
Admins will have more control over who can join a group through an invitation link
One new feature will let WhatsApp group admins decide who is permitted to join their group from an invite link or community, granting them more proactive control over group privacy. Current FAQ guidelines advise WhatsApp admins to only share group invitation links with trusted individuals as anyone with access to that URL could join.
The other new feature aims to make it easier to find groups that users have in common with their mutual contacts. Users can search a contact’s name to see a list of the groups they’re both a member of, which could prove useful if you can’t remember the name of the group itself. For more business or educational-focused communities, it can also help members to check if they have joined all of the correct groups by referencing the lists of other participants.