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Meta introduces Community Chats, blending Messenger with Facebook Groups

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(Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Meta announces Community Chats coming to Messenger and Facebook Groups.
  • The new feature will allow admins to create large community chats for like-minded people with multiple channels in their own tabs for organization.
  • Testing for this new feature begins on Messenger first with Meta looking to expand it to Facebook Groups in the weeks after.

Meta announced on Tuesday that it's begun testing its new Community Chats feature coming to Messenger and Facebook.

Facebook wants to help its users better connect with one another and reach more like-minded people with this new Community Chats feature. According to Meta's post, the company will begin allowing people to test Community Chats within Messenger. This will give users the ability to create a community, start chatting, create audio channels, and invite people to join their group.

Meta says it wants to help users engage "in real-time with larger communities over shared interests." With that, Community Chats is designed to be a feature that helps people "connect more deeply" on topics they share an interest in. Community Chats will allow users to engage through text chat, audio, and video. In addition, Meta states that this new chat function will seamlessly combine Messenger and Facebook Groups.

The admin (creator) of a Community Chat will have tools to create an easy-to-navigate experience by placing certain topics in their own categories. This allows users to find and tap on what conversation they'd like to engage in, much like WhatsApp's recent addition of Communities. It also seems as though admins can customize the look of any given chat within their community, such as the background.

Administrators will have a few options to choose from when creating chats for their community, such as an event chat, a view-only broadcast chat, an admin-only chat, and voice channels. A "view-only" chat serves the purpose of allowing only admins to post a message that everyone in the community gets to see.

Additionally, moderation is always a crucial element in any public chatting service. Meta has taken this into consideration by providing soon-to-be admins with a number of tools to combat unruly folks. Community Chats' moderation capabilities include blocking, muting, and suspending members from the community. This will automatically remove their messages, too.

Admins will gain "Admin Assist," a feature where creators can go in and set parameters for automatic moderation. The assistor can suspend users, remove reported messages, and block messages from someone without the right credentials or if it contains content that violates the rules.

Members of a Community Chat can also report harmful content to their admins/moderators, block a user, and leave the chat on their own at any time.

The new Community Chats experience will start rolling out over the coming weeks After the initial tests, Meta is interested in expanding Community Chats to more Facebook Groups.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.