WhatsApp is found to be testing a dedicated Communities tab for its Android users. A screenshot suggesting the functionality of the new tab has appeared online. Alongside Android, WhatsApp is working on bringing the dedicated Communities tab to iOS, a previous report suggested. The instant messaging app is also found to be making it easier for business accounts to create new orders directly in a chat. The new experience would come from an ‘Order’ shortcut available in the chat action sheet.
As per a report by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp for Android beta version 18.104.22.168 has included some references to suggest the presence of the Communities tab. The website has also shared a screenshot where the tab is clearly visible as a replacement to the existing Camera tab.
The screenshot shows that under the Communities tab, users will see the communities that they have created or get added to. It would simply be a one-stop place to look at all the communities you have on WhatsApp — instead of finding them by going through the list of chats. This would be unlike groups that we need to find by scrolling through our chats list only.
Alongside giving access to all communities, the dedicated tab appears to offer quick access to create a new community on the app.
Earlier this month, WABetaInfo shared a screenshot showing the Communities tab on iOS. It in that case also replaced the existing Camera tab.
Initial references of the dedicated Communities tab on WhatsApp for Android devices appeared in March. At the time, exact details of how the tab would work were not available.
WhatsApp seems to be quite actively working on bringing communities to the platform. The new addition would not replace groups but help group admins better manage their existing groups. The screenshot shared in reference to the new tab also suggests that communities would bring related groups together.
Separately, WABetaInfo has spotted some references about the ‘Order’ shortcut in the business build of WhatsApp for Android beta version 22.214.171.124. The shortcut appears in the chat action sheet that also gives quick access to add a document, photo, or audio file to your chat.
The ‘Order’ shortcut would allow business users to quickly create orders for their customers — directly from the chat screen.
Businesses will be able to choose their product, quantity, and price and share them with their customers directly using the ‘Order’ shortcut, according to WABetaInfo.
The ‘Order’ shortcut is expected to be limited to the WhatsApp Business app in the future. Some references of how business users would be allowed to manage their orders from an iOS device appeared last month as well.
Exact details on when the features surfaced on the beta releases will be available to users are yet to be revealed. It is also important to note that the features are not provided to beta testers at this moment.