Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning that “Community Chats” are coming to Messenger and Facebook Groups. The feature allows large Messenger groups to organize chats into categories, including audio and video channels for real-time discussion, admin-only chats for announcements and event chats. Like Discord, Community Chats are designed to make it easier to keep track of fast-moving conversations involving many people.
“We’re building Community Chats as a new way to connect with people who share your interests,” Zuckerberg wrote. “More than 1 billion people use Messenger to communicate with friends, and soon you’ll be able to start Community Chats from Messenger as well as Facebook Groups.”
Similar to a Facebook group, these chats are intended to span beyond your real-life friend group — if you’re a woman who loves to catch some waves, you might join “Women Who Surf,” as shown in a mock-up image. Because you’ll likely interact with strangers, the product will roll out with moderation tools that allow admins to remove messages and block, mute or suspend group members. An “admin assist” feature will allow admins to set custom criteria to automate moderation. For example, if you’re operating a G-rated chat and don’t want people to drop the f-bomb, you can automatically ban users who send messages with that word.
Community Chats can be started from both Messenger and Facebook Groups. The feature will start testing now and expand to groups in the coming weeks.
Meta has already started adding some features to messenger that are reminiscent of Slack or Discord. In March, Messenger got the “@everyone” feature, which sends a notification to all users in a chat. Conversely, the /silent command sends a message without notifying the recipient at all.