WhatsApp has been busy these past couple of months adding feature after feature to the chat app. They are all pretty interesting with the latest ones being Polls, Communities, and Avatars. So are they any good?
Polls are pretty much a way of data collection on whatever topic you desire. The data will come in an easy to work with the format for the person who will be running the poll instead of perusing the whole chat for individual messages. It’s a feature I see being used a lot in community, academic, and even business groups.
I do think that there was an oversight WhatsApp made with polls. They do not have the option to restrict one person to only select or vote for one option. You can, if you want, vote for every option on any poll. At least we get to have them both on individual accounts and business accounts.
Essentially communities are groups for existing groups. A way of organizing the various groups you are in to make it easier to find them and share messages just to specific groups of the same topic. Think of it this way. In the zhet economy that is Zimbabwe, the typical WhatsApp account is in a variety of groups for a number of things. Avon products, Forex groups, health products, fuel, you name it.
All these groups can be organized by whatever topic you so choose. And you can share specific messages with specific groups of the same topic. And if you have used WhatsApp for long enough you will remember that back in the day we had broadcast lists. A way of grouping contacts with the same topic and…yes broadcasting messages to all of them at once.
For a business this feature is amazing. It allows me to put all Techzim groups under one ‘Community’ and share news articles in all of them at once instead of 5 groups at a time. But WhatsApp brought this feature to individual accounts and denied business accounts. Imagine region-specific broadcast messages for businesses with multiple branches in different locations. A powerful and convenient business feature shipped off to individual accounts.
Meta is bringing the Avatars magic from the Metaverse to WhatsApp. It’s just an extension of expression from the selection of gifs, emojis, and stickers that are available for use right now. But you can customize these to fit your look, religion or personality.