News: WhatsApp Community arrives and Meta will not be only virtual
WhatsApp is about to introduce a new feature called Community. A few weeks ago there was too much confusion about what it meant to have a clear idea of what it really was.
WABetaInfo has preferred to wait a few weeks, and now it has come to light, showing us the first screenshots and illustrating the mechanism in its general aspects. To know more, we will have to wait for WhatsApp to launch the tool in the first Beta for iOS and Android.
What is WhatsApp Community
WhatsApp Community can be explained as the group of groups. This is a tool that will allow administrators to create a maximum group chat, which, however, remains a private chat protected by end-to-end encryption. Nothing to do with a social network.
Administrators will also be able to send messages and insert new groups within the Community. WABetaInfo gives a couple of examples to clarify how it works, such as a career (Community) made up of all the teaching classes (Community groups) which in turn include the students (members of each group).
So administrators can:
- Create a community.
- Send messages.
- Add new groups.
- Invite other people to join the community manually or through links.
The tools in the hands of administrators will certainly not be limited to those mentioned above: we will have to wait for the first Beta to find out more, including information about what individual user-participants can and cannot do.
Unfortunately, nothing else is known, neither about the functions nor about the release date. What is certain is that development is underway on iOS and Android. The icon of each Community must be different from the one of the groups or individual users. The shape appears square with slightly rounded corners.
Meta will be only a virtual world: Plans to open physical stores
If we think of Goal, the new name of Facebook (as a company, not as a social company), we also think about the vision with which Mark Zuckerberg presented it, in a long and articulated succession of futuristic scenarios that described the possibilities and limits of a possible parallel world to come: the metaverse, precisely.
At the moment, it is impossible to know how much, how and when what Zuckerberg has shown us will come to fruition. But we certainly know that we must lay the foundations of the metaverse in the world, radically changing the habits of an important part of the world population, as has already happened with social networks.
It’s not an easy task, which will likely also involve opening physical Meta stores, as the New York Times reports.
The focus will be the experience
The idea would not be new, in fact: it seems that Menlo Park He had been thinking about it for a long time before deciding to drop the Facebook name and adopt Meta. If this possibility were to materialize, we would find ourselves before physical stores, whose main task would be to attract the public, bringing you closer to products you’re not familiar with and making you directly experience the possibilities of the metaverse.
The metaverse envisioned by Zuckerberg is destined to become (also) a huge shopping mall, full of virtual spaces in which brands will sell both real and digital products; Nike, for example, is already preparing for it. But for this last frontier to become a reality, it is first necessary to sell several old-fashioned Virtual Reality headsets.
Many of the most fast-paced and ambitious aspects of Meta, in fact, go through the assumption that a significant number of people in the next few years will become familiar with viewers of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, devices that at the moment find applications mainly in the field of games.
Therefore, the possible opening of «meta-stores» would have the objective, above all, of establishing a first contact between these products that are unknown to part of the universe of potential users who look at them with suspicion. And then, why not, sell them.
A project born under the seal of Facebook
Preliminary sketches imagining the aesthetics of these stores show an absolutely modern and minimalist approach: on the other hand, the real experience takes place once the VR headset is worn, so it would be useless to think of an environment full of stimuli.
In the sketches, however, it is still not “Meta Store”, but “Facebook Store”, since, as mentioned, the project predates the decision to change the name: the other hypotheses evaluated and discarded were Facebook Hub , Facebook Commons, Facebook Innovations, Facebook Reality Store and From Facebook.
If Meta decides to go ahead with this plan, as seems natural considering the circumstances, the first of these physical stores would be built in Burlingame, California, where there is an office of Reality Labs, the Meta division focused on the research, development and production of products designed for virtual and augmented reality.