Meta quietly unveils Messenger Communities2 min read

Meta has quietly launched a new feature called “Communities” on its Messenger platform, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. This latest addition is designed to enhance communication for organizations, schools, and various private groups by providing a more organized and structured way to interact. Originally introduced on WhatsApp in 2022, the Communities feature on Messenger allows users to connect without needing an associated Facebook Group. This marks an evolution from the Community Chats feature rolled out in 2022, which facilitated real-time communication within Facebook Groups. With the new feature, users can create dedicated spaces for real-time interaction directly on Messenger.

The launch highlights Meta’s ongoing efforts to expand Messenger’s functionality and differentiate it from other messaging services like iMessage. It also suggests that Meta aims to incorporate a broader social networking component into Messenger, helping users find and connect with their communities within the app. Communities on Messenger consolidate multiple group chats into one unified space. Each Community includes a dedicated “Home” area where administrators can share updates and announcements. According to Meta, up to 5,000 individuals can join a community via shareable invites.

This feature is particularly useful for creating dedicated spaces for organizations, schools, PTAs, neighborhoods, and interest-based groups. For instance, a neighborhood could form a Community to keep residents informed about local events, security alerts, and trash collection schedules. Similarly, a school could create a Community with separate group chats for each grade, allowing parents to engage in relevant discussions. A key distinction between Communities on Messenger and WhatsApp is the integration with Facebook’s social graph. While WhatsApp requires users to have someone’s phone number to invite them to a Community, Messenger allows Community builders to invite Facebook friends and their connections, facilitating easier growth of the community.

Meta has noted on a help page that Communities on Messenger are intended for more public discussions compared to Facebook Groups. All members, both current and future, can see the content of the chats within a Community. The new Communities feature is now being rolled out globally, offering users a new way to connect and communicate within Messenger.

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