WhatsApp to let non-admins respond to messages on Communities

WhatsApp's new function can be very beneficial but also increases risk of spam, unsolicited messages

Web Desk
A display of the WhatsApp logo on a smartphone. — AFP/File
A display of the WhatsApp logo on a smartphone. — AFP/File

Administrators may share important information with members in the announcement group found in every WhatsApp Community, but, it looks like non-admins may soon be able to reply to messages, which would shift a lot of things.

This change was discovered in the WhatsApp beta for Android v2.24.4.12 release, thanks to WABetaInfo. However, there is a disclaimer. According to the article, communities with more than 1024 members might not be able to access this new feature on the beta channel.

When an announcement is made, the community should be allowed to reply by long-pressing the message. Non-admins can privately respond to the admin, but they are unable to comment on the announcement at this time.

They also have the option to report, star, or forward the individual. An indicator for announcements with answers is also included in this most recent beta version. When you tap that section, a text form and the complete list of responses from other members appear.

While a service such as this will surely boost member engagement, large communities might find it to be a haven for unsolicited or spammy messages.

But in this case, administrators need to make sure that only relevant responses remain. Furthermore, it's not clear if WhatsApp would automatically enable this feature or provide a toggle to enable or disable it as needed.