WhatsApp Communities could be a terrific direct selling culture-building tool.
WhatsApp is officially launching its Communities feature evolving the chat app experience for larger groups. The launch comes after months of testing in 15 countries and will roll out worldwide over the next few months on Android and iOS.
Communities is designed for larger structured discussion groups for a total of 5,000 members per Community. Features include admin controls, multiple sub-groups, an announcement group for the entire Community, 32-person voice and video calls, large file sharing (up to 2 GB), emoji reactions and in-group polls. Sub-groups allow members to follow and chat about topics that pertain to them and avoid irrelevant messages. As with regular WhatsApp groups, the app features end-to-end encryption.
“Communities like neighborhoods, parents at a school and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organize group conversations on WhatsApp,” said a statement from the app.
“WhatsApp Communities are meant to be used by members who may already be connected in the real world,” explained a TechCrunch review. “Unlike on Facebook, WhatsApp is phone number-based, meaning people joining these discussion groups already have some familiarity with one another, as they may have exchanged phone numbers or at least have shared their number with a group admin.”
So, what’s the difference between Facebook Groups and WhatsApp Communities? Communities are hidden and require an invitation to join. Admins can add or delete members to groups and send out invite links. The one announcement group sends important alerts for all members.
For direct sellers, Communities could be a terrific tool for communicating with and developing their teams or even customers. It can be used to:
- Welcome new distributors and walk them through the first action steps
- Recognize accomplishments and praise
- Run promotions
- Upload training or marketing files
- Share tips and testimonials
- Answer questions about company updates and products
- Create an engaging culture of communication and action
WhatsApp is the third-most popular social app behind Facebook and YouTube with roughly 2.4 billion monthly users.
Communities Features at a Glance
- Operate groups under one umbrella
- Send updates to the entire community
- Organize small discussion groups
- Powerful admin tools including:
- Sending announcements to everyone
- Controlling groups that can be included