- WhatsApp is working on new features, including Communities, to compete with other communication apps like Telegram and Discord.
- The latest update includes new options for sorting and filtering channels in the Communities tab, making it easier to navigate through messages.
- The sorting and filtration options are convenient for finding specific content or messages in channels, and could be useful in the future as the feature grows in popularity.
Meta developers are constantly building new features to keep WhatsApp competitive with the best communication apps, such as the likes of Telegram and Discord. To this effect, work on the new Communities feature is now in full swing, as new features and UI tweaks continue rolling out. We have just learned of an interesting addition that makes it much easier to sift through the heaps of messages you may receive on these community channels.
WhatsApp Communities are available to many beta testers, but the stable version is currently geo-restricted to nine countries — Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Singapore, and Ukraine. WABetaInfo reports users in these markets are now seeing new options to sort the channels in the communities tab of the app.
In the latest stable update on Android and iOS, WhatsApp has removed the Filter button in the Channels UI. Instead, users see a horizontally scrolling list of pi-shaped buttons for filters they can apply to sort the feed. Options to sort by Newest or Popular are more accessible because of this change, and the All option reverts the feed to its default sorting order.
There’s an option to filter by region too, so you only see messages from a chosen country. Tapping this option opens a fly-out from the bottom of the screen, containing a scrollable list of countries, and a search bar for the region. You can always tap Global to go back to the default list with all your channels. These sorting and filtration options make it easy to see the content of your interest or region right at the top. As a by–product, it could assist with searches for specific messages in channels, which you may want to forward. WABetaInfo points out the recent change is also useful if you don’t recall the specifics of what you’re searching for.
Even though WhatsApp Communities and the channels feature may not be very popular or widely available today, these sorting options could come in handy down the road, especially if the feature becomes anywhere as popular as Telegram channels. WhatsApp seems to be on the right track, though, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg promising geographic availability for Communities will expand in the remainder of 2023.