WhatsApp is reportedly developing a community tab for Android
It's not clear, though, how it will differ from WhatsApp's existing group feature
What you need to know
- WhatsApp is supposedly working on a community tab for its Android app.
- It will replace the camera shortcut on the left side of the chat screen.
- The feature could be rolled out in a future update, but the release date is unknown.
WhatsApp could be testing a new way for people to connect with others who share their interests. According to evidence discovered by WABetaInfo (opens in new tab), the messaging service is working on a new community tab for its Android app.
The new tab has been spotted in the latest beta version of WhatsApp (v188.8.131.52). According to the feature's description, communities "bring related groups together." This means that any community you create or join will appear in the tab.
However, WhatsApp already has a group feature that performs the same function as the community tab, allowing you to manage groups in which you've participated. So it's not clear what sets this upcoming feature apart.
As shown in the screenshot below, it will also replace the camera shortcut on the upper left side of the chat screen.
While WABetaInfo was able to capture a screenshot of the tab, the website notes that it is not yet available on any of the app's channels. Having said that, it is very likely that the experimental feature will make its way first to beta testers.
The feature could be included in a future update to one of the best messaging apps for Android (opens in new tab), which recently added a bunch of voice messaging features (opens in new tab). But the release date is unknown, and WhatsApp has made no announcement about it.
We have reached out to Meta for a statement and will update this post once we receive a response.
This isn't the first time the experimental feature has been spotted. The same community tab was discovered late last year by XDA Developers (opens in new tab), which noted that it may have some overlap with the group feature.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.