July 6, 2022

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WhatsApp comes for Slack with debut of 'Communities'

Your condo constructing’s Slack group is getting some competitors.

On Thursday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced the corporate’s “imaginative and prescient” for a brand new WhatsApp product referred to as Communities. A “Group” shall be composed of people who find themselves all a part of the identical group or group — WhatsApp offers the instance of a faculty or condo constructing — and sub-groups for individuals to debate particular matters. There may even be a mechanism for admins to ship bulletins to all of the members.

“Communities on WhatsApp will allow individuals to carry collectively separate teams beneath one umbrella with a construction that works for them,” WhatsApp’s announcement of the characteristic reads.

It’s kind of troublesome to wrap your head round within the summary. Fortunately, there’s already an instance of the way it will work, as a result of Communities sounds rather a lot like Slack, the messaging platform that is extraordinarily well-liked within the digital office. There is a set group of people who find themselves all a part of the identical group, there are sub-groups for various topics (assume Slack channels), and there is a method for admins to make bulletins. Sound acquainted?

WhatsApp can be rolling out some common adjustments to Teams that even have a Slack-ish ring to them. Most notably, that features emoji reactions. Reward be! However there’s additionally elevated dimension for audio calls (they’re going to have the ability to accommodate 32 customers), elevated file sharing dimension to 2 GB, and the flexibility for admins to delete messages.

Okay, emoji reactions in teams is a HUGE boon.

These group adjustments are going dwell in “the approaching weeks.” Nevertheless, Communities will come a bit farther down the road. WhatsApp says it’s testing the product and can start rolling out the characteristic over the next months, however doesn’t have a extra particular timeline.

There’s something a tad uncomfortable about utilizing the identical platform for work and your private life.

Although Slack is primarily a office product, individuals additionally use it for organizing pals, actions, and different teams of individuals. That is as a result of it is simply usually a handy messaging platform, particularly since group chats could be so overwhelming and unwieldy. Do not even get us began on the chaos of getting a inexperienced bubble concerned. However maybe WhatsApp is capitalizing on the backlash to Slack that occurred through the pandemic as a part of the erosion between work life and residential life. There’s something a tad uncomfortable about utilizing the identical platform for work and your private life.

WhatsApp additionally has the benefit that messages despatched by way of the platform are end-to-end encrypted, which means that not even WhatsApp can see the content material of messages. Slack doesn’t have this stage of safety. WhatsApp has confirmed that it’ll prolong its E2E encryption to Communities.

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