Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Monday that WhatsApp services is about to be expanded to include new features in what he described as “major evolution.”
The evolution, which is known as ‘WhatsApp Communities,’ will enable people to not only communicate with close friends and contacts, but also with all of the different communities in life.
“This might be a school community with chats where important announcements for parents are shared and discussed, or a work community with chats to discuss different things with colleagues, or a neighborhood community to talk about what’s happening on your street or in your building,” Zuckerberg said.
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Meta has been widening the scope of its services as competition in the social media space toughens. Facebook started the year with a massive loss that saw over $250 billion wiped off its market value. It also lost over one million users for the first time, deepening its troubles.
The loss, which was largely attributed to TikTok’s growing influence, quickened Meta’s pace to pivot its services across its platforms, with focus on reels and short-form videos. The social media behemoth, which depends on ads for revenue, is parent to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus. But WhatsApp has been ad-free.
The WhatsApp Community, with its many features, is likely going to open the way for the monetization of the instant-messaging app.
“We built WhatsApp Communities to make it much easier to organize all your group chats and find information. You’ll be able to bring different group 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,” Zuckerberg said.
“We’re also adding new features to groups on WhatsApp, including reactions, large file sharing, and bigger group calls. And because this is WhatsApp, end-to-end encryption and safety features will be built in from the start,” he added.
Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy, which allows iPhone users to stop advertisers from tracking them across the web, was the biggest blow to Meta’s revenue and the company has been seeking ways to replenish the resultant loss.
WhatsApp is the world’s most used messenger app with over 2 billion users, making it an integral part of Meta’s divestment plan.
Zuckerberg said the new products will be rolled out slowly, and that he expects it to be an important evolution for WhatsApp and online communication overall.
He said 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, … 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.
“We’ll be building community messaging features for Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram as well. I’m excited to see how this progresses as we start testing WhatsApp Communities today and roll it out over the coming months,” he said.
That’s okay and atleast whatsapp should be able to notify users when contacts are online with the green dot just like facebook when friends are online… some settings too should be involve for benefit.
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