WhatsApp has announced two new features for Meta’s messaging app that are designed to improve the privacy of community group chats and also make it easier to find groups that users have in common. Both new features will be rolled out globally in the coming weeks.
The updates are related to the WhatsApp community tab – group chats designed for large gatherings of people (such as organizations and schools) to house multiple related subgroups, similar 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 have more control over who can join a group through an invite link
A new feature lets WhatsApp group admins decide who can join their group via invite link or community, giving them more proactive control over group privacy. Current FAQ guidelines advise WhatsApp admins to only share group invite links with trusted people, as anyone with access to that URL can join.
The other new feature should 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 members of, which can be useful if you can’t remember the name of the group itself. For more business or educational communities, it can also help members verify they’ve joined all the right groups by referring to other participants’ lists.