Meta rolls out standalone Messenger group chats

The groups, called “Communities,” allow admins to add up to 5,000 people, even if they’re not part of the same Facebook group. Meta previously introduced that feature in 2022, allowing Facebook group admins to create Discord-like chatrooms for members. This new type of chat, meanwhile, is open to anyone — users could make one for their neighborhood, school, or an event, for example.

Meta notes that creating Messenger “Communities” isn’t yet available to everyone and that users should be aware there’s a different level of privacy that they typically associate with personal messages.

The gradual updates to Messenger bring it more in line with platforms like WhatsApp or Discord. In 2022, WhatsApp’s messaging capabilities also expanded, letting admins of groups communicate with thousands of people at once instead of the more private, direct conversations the platform was known for.

Messaging has become a key focus for other Meta platforms like Instagram, too. Instagram head Adam Mosseri has said that DMs account for much of the platform’s growth and that young people especially spend a lot of time messaging. Last year, Instagram rolled out the ability to send mass updates via DMs — called “channels” — in a feature similar to Telegram. Creators can run their own channel for followers and send updates, announcements, and more. The company has also tried to make DMs more interactive with things like contests run through messages.

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