WhatsApp’s Community Announcements could get a lot noisier

Summary

  • Non-admins of WhatsApp Communities may soon be able to reply to messages in the Announcements group, as per evidence seen within WhatsApp beta for Android v2.24.4.12.
  • In its current form, the Announcements group only allows administrators to post messages, while non-admins can only forward or star the message, among other actions.
  • While this feature will certainly improve engagement, admins will need to manage potential spam or unwanted messages in the Announcements group. It is currently unclear if admins will have control over enabling or disabling this feature.


Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced WhatsApp Communities in 2022 as a way for people and organizations to manage all their group chats in one convenient location. Each Community gets an Announcements group, which is a space for administrators to provide relevant information to the members. However, it doesn’t allow regular members to reply to an announcement. But it looks like WhatsApp could soon change that by letting non-admins reply to messages in the Announcements group.


This change was spotted in WhatsApp beta for Android v2.24.4.12, courtesy of the ever-reliable WABetaInfo. However, there’s a caveat involved. The publication says Communities with over 1024 participants may not find this new feature on the beta channel.


WhatsApp Community Announcements Replies


When available, Community members should be able to reply to an announcement by long-pressing the message. In its current form, non-admins can’t respond to the announcement but can reply to the admin privately, while the options to star, forward, or report the user are also present. This new beta update also contains an indicator for announcements with replies, and tapping that section opens up the full list of replies from other members, along with a text field (Add a reply) to write a comment.

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Google adds 12 new Pixel ‘Community Lens’ wallpapers for 2023

Available for all modern Pixel devices, Community Lens wallpapers are shot by Googlers and the collection has just been updated with 12 new backgrounds for 2023.

Google released the 18 Community Lens shots in October of 2021 and last updated the album with the Pixel 7 launch to bring the total to 30. 

On Monday, 12 new Pixel Community Lens wallpapers for 2023 were added:

  • Low fog: A foggy view of San Francisco from Mount Tamalpais. Photo by Jingyu Wu.
  • Winter desert: An aerial view of the southern Arizona desert. Photo by Keith Howard.
  • Tunnel View sunrise: Sunrise at Yosemite National Park. Photo by Antariksh Bothale.
  • Twilight clouds: Clouds photographed during the blue hour. Photo by Yuzhe Chen.
  • Arctic symphony: Icebergs and the Northern Lights in western Greenland. Photo by Wojtek Rygielski.
  • Above the mist: A misty view from King’s Trail (Kungsleden) in northern Sweden. Photo by Wojtek Rygielski.
  • Floating Himalayas: The Himalayas photographed at sunrise from the Roof of the World, Tibetan Plateau. Photo by Christy Y. Liao.
  • Kenai Fjords glacier: A glacier photographed at Kenai Fjords National Park. Photo by Xu Zeng.
  • Beach storm: A storm at sunset in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo by Keith Howard.
  • Furchetta sunrise: Sunrise at Furchetta in South Tyrol, Italy. Photo by Selim Cinek.
  • Death Valley: A morning hike in Death Valley, California. Photo by Justin Forte.
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How to Create an X (Twitter) Community

X (formerly Twitter) offers a wide array of extra features under an X Premium subscription (formerly Twitter Blue). One of the many features you can enjoy is the ability to create a Community on X.


Communities provide an isolated space where you and your followers can interact without allowing anyone who comes across your conversations to engage.

If you’re interested in learning more about X Communities, you’re in the right place. We’ll introduce X Communities and then show you how to create your own X Community on the mobile app and website.


A Community is a dedicated space for interacting with like-minded people about a particular topic. From a high level, you can think of an X Community like a group on Facebook where members can connect and interact with each other in an isolated space but, as expected, with some slight differences.

How X (Twitter) Communities Work

All X Communities are public, but tweets inside work differ slightly from normal ones. First, when you send a tweet in a Community, it won’t be displayed on your profile or followers’ Home timelines. Only members of the Community can see the tweet in their Home timelines.

However, don’t mistake Communities as a space to hold private conversations since everyone on X can see the posts. The only limitation is that only members can engage in the conversation—non-members can only view.

the new twitter X logo on a computer screen

To join a Community, you need to have a public account too. Some X Communities are open for anyone to join, although admins can require approvals first. Communities have no member limit; you can invite as many people as possible as a moderator or admin.

And in case you’re wondering what differentiates Twitter Communities and Twitter Lists, the latter are custom timelines you curate based on your interests. Lists enable you

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U-M community weighs in on this age-old debate

The age-old debate — Android versus Apple — has seemingly become less of a debate in recent years particularly among younger generations, who have been found to prefer the signature Apple products over their Android competitors. Putting this to the test, the University of Michigan community weighs in on the impact of both phones among college students.

Mobile phones have become an essential part of modern life, with 85% of Americans owning some kind of smartphone. Known for the iPhone and Android phones, Apple and Samsung are two of the biggest technology companies in the United States. Since the iPhone and Android models have been released, the public has compared the functionality, interface and overall appearance of both phones. 

LSA sophomore Adele Lowitz has always owned an iPhone, but temporarily switched to an Android as part of a market research study last year. 

“I had a lot of time to think about ways that it was different from my other phone,” Lowitz said. “I thought a lot of the operating systems were really useful and I liked some of the basic features. The ways you can move apps around were actually really intuitive.” 

After the study concluded, Lowitz returned to her iPhone. She said she missed some of the iPhone’s features and looked forward to being within the same technology network as her friends.

“Something that came with having the Android was that all my texts turned green on Apple devices and I couldn’t FaceTime,” Lowitz said.“I couldn’t text on my Mac computer because of the continuity within all the Apple devices. Also, because so many of my friends at Michigan specifically have iPhones, I was eager to get back to being within that network.”

Lowitz said she noticed the social life around campus seemed to weigh more on Apple

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Jolla Promotes Community Growth With Android Launcher And Installable Sailfish OS

While Jolla has released their own handset, the main product is the mobile operating system, Sailfish OS. The Jolla handset gives the Finnish company a platform to show off the OS in an optimised environment, but  the 400 euro price-tag does raise a rather large financial barrier for the early adopter crowd. That’s why the news regarding produce for Android handsets, released ahead of Monday’s Mobile World Congress event, is intriguing.

By making the Sailfish OS available for free to install on other Android handsets, Jolla will be able to increase the user base and gain more feedback on the OS. Jolla already has a number of early adopters contributing to the code, and the addition of a downloadable and bootable version of the OS will bring in more power-users looking for something different.

It’s a similar strategy to Cyanogen Mod – leverage the existing Android hardware to your own OS and expand the number of instances in use to gather test data and the visibility of the new platform.

Jolla screenshots (image: Ewan Spence)

Jolla is taking this one step further with the release of an Android launcher. Taking advantage of the open nature of Android, Jolla’s take on a mobile user interface will be ported as an Android app for anyone to download and experience the Finnish implementation of a mobile UI on top of a native Android handset. Given Sailfish OS can support the running of Android apps on native hardware, anyone comfortable in the launcher’s UI should feel more comfortable when considering a Sailfish OS powered handset in the future. From the press release:

The Sailfish community has already ported Sailfish OS into several devices including major versions of popular Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, and Sony Xperia. Also, porting for highly popular Chinese Xiaomi

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Funding Supports Community Housing Sustainability, Repairs

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are investing more than $13 million through the Community Housing Infrastructure and Repair Program to help seven community housing organizations transform their operations and complete repairs to existing units.

“Having a vibrant community housing sector is critical to ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing options for Nova Scotians,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Lohr. “Investments like this help to preserve existing homes and strengthen organizations for future development and growth.”

Nearly $5 million in funding will be allocated to help preserve, renew and grow co-op housing through the amalgamation of two small housing co-operatives – Gimme Shelter (12 units) in Sydney and New Armdale Westside (26 units) in Halifax – with Compass Nova Scotia Co-operative Housing Ltd.

This will allow the organizations to leverage the governance model and administrative experience of Compass to make their operations more sustainable and complete necessary capital repairs.

Four other co-operatives and one non-profit housing provider in Nova Scotia are also receiving more than $8 million in forgivable loans to complete necessary capital repairs to their buildings, including health and safety improvements such as upgrades to electrical systems and fire safety equipment. The funding will help preserve 145 affordable units.

Organizations receiving funds are:

  • Dartmouth Non-Profit Housing Society, 57 units, Dartmouth: $2,558,600
  • Evangeline Court Housing Co-operative Limited, 27 units, Wolfville: $1,045,100
  • Spanish Bay Housing Co-operative (part of Compass Nova Scotia Co-operative Housing Ltd.), 18 units, Sydney: $2,458,100
  • Fresh Start Housing Co-operative Limited, 30 units, Lower Sackville: $1,388,500
  • Needham Housing Co-operative Limited, 13 units, Halifax: $557,500

The Community Housing Infrastructure and Repair Program is jointly funded through the Canada-Nova Scotia Bilateral Agreement, under the National Housing Strategy, to support the preservation of existing community housing units and long-term sector

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