The new WhatsApp beta v184.108.40.206 has uncovered the inclusion of a new “Community” feature on the app. First uncovered by XDA, this new feature could differ from the existing Groups feature on the app.
Several new strings have appeared with the latest WhatsApp beta release, hinting that this feature will make its way to the platform soon. It seems like the feature may have some common elements with Groups, although the two could likely co-exist. The general inclination is to believe Community is a replacement for Groups, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
One string in particular mentions both Community and Group, further suggesting that it will be a new addition and not a replacement. While the workings of this yet-unannounced Community feature are unknown, it could go beyond the functionality of Groups.
It’s unclear if Community will absorb the existing Groups feature or function independently
Unfortunately, these strings are pretty much all the information we have right now. Since the revelation comes from a beta release, it’s unclear when it will appear in the stable version of the app. As XDA points out, it’s also likely that WhatsApp may simply rename Groups to Community and is yet to remove or replace the strings mentioning Groups. We hope to get a clearer picture of WhatsApp’s plans with future beta releases.
We recently learned that WhatsApp could bring a revamped multi-device functionality with a “multi-device 2.0” update. This would expand on the existing multi-device feature on the app by allowing users to pair a secondary smartphone with their main WhatsApp account.
The revelation of multi-device 2.0 came after the company brought end-to-end encryption or E2EE for cloud chat backups. Conversations stored on the device were always encrypted, but they didn’t expand to cloud backups. This new inclusion means that cloud backups on Google Drive or iCloud now get similar security. This is an essential update to the platform, given the persistent allegations of Facebook impeding user privacy.
More recently, millions of WhatsApp users were virtually stranded for six hours due to Facebook’s network outage. It also affected Facebook/Messenger and Instagram users. This led to millions of users flocking to rival messaging app Telegram. However, it’s likely that a majority of those users are now back to using Facebook’s services.
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