WhatsApp Community's & Polls: some features that are petty nice, but not for everyone

WhatsApp Community's & Polls: some features that are petty nice, but not for everyone

After more than a year of the first "leak" happening of the WhatsApp Community feature the rollout has officially started. We got it on a phone and we will be walking you though the options as well as the things we're not quite sure about yet.

WhatsApp Community - Start screen

As some of you know, I am quite a big fan of chat/communication apps in general. I like testing out new apps that promise to bring something new, but in the end I mostly stick with the "good old" and I get particularly happy that the apps I have been using for so long bring new features. Not "hey we changed this marging a little bit" but actual new features like WhatsApp and Telegram are doing lately.

Both WhatsApp and Telegram have launched simmilar features with the Community update. And to be honest I have been waiting for WhatsApp to launch this feature.

The usecase

We all have those groups that from our local community, sportsclubs, schools and churches where they setup a seperate group for every... single... thing. And yes, we all get kinda sick of if because we don't have a proper overview anymore. Now that both Telegram and WhatsApp have launched their new Community's feature, the big question of course is. Will this solve the problem? Today we're going to do a deepdive into the way WhatsApp works.

First, lets create a community.

Upon creating a new community

So far it looks pretty cool. While setting up a community you can either create a new group and possibily even better, add excisting groups! You know what this means right, you do NOT have to move all those people to a new group etc. you can just import without much of a hustle! Just click on the "add" button and off you go. Honestly, thanks Meta for not making us move all those people around.

Once the community is setup you can either start inviting more members, or look around first. Let's look around first, shall we?

A community has by default groups and a "Announcement channel".  This is a really interesting feature as this is a 1-way communication channel. Meaning, just make the announcement, and not the 100 responses you normally get on a anouncement you make in another group. Unfortunatly the announcment channel does not support polls just yet, but I hope this will be a feature added in the future. None the less this is a much needed feature if your community grows to a size when just sharing a announcment in one of the group channels will not get noticed.

The announcement channel

Of course this all is pretty awesome, but the fact that the Announcement channels do not provide any Poll features yet, is really a shame. The other thing that is noticeable is the fact that groups transfer into Community groups, but if you are in 1, 2 or more community groups, they still show up in your normal chat list. To me I do not think this is ideal, and defnitly should be a setting. The only difference is the icon of the group chat which indicates that it is part of a community. The second is that if you go into the group chat, and the settings of the group chat you can see which community this group is a part off.

Group icons for community groups


The launch of the Polls feature has been going around for a while, quickly creating a poll to get everyone their opinion is super easy now. So far my experience is that it works quite well. However, there is one thing I would like WhatsApp to add to this feature and that is a "pin poll" option, where if you have not yet filled in your choice, it will stay "afloat" as a notification almost at the top of the chat as an overlay. Take "pinned messages" in Telegram as example.

Is it for everyone?

No, defnitly not. The Community feature is really meant for small orginasations as well as sportsclubs etc. or if you would like to have a different chat for each subject. If you are just using group chats with your friend groups, please just use groups, it will be much easier.

I'm pretty happy

Overall I am pretty happy with these features. The fact that WhatsApp is really adding functionallity is nice as on quite some options its behind other big chat apps. Let's hope WhatsApp will add more features soon!