Explained: Facebook’s Community Chats feature and what it means for users

Facebook has revealed that in the coming weeks it will allow users to start Community Chats directly from Messenger. The Meta-owned social media platform is also planning to expand the chat experience to more Facebook Groups. The Community Chats feature in the Messenger app will allow users to form a Facebook Group, start chats and audio channels, along with inviting others to join their new group
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has shared a post on Facebook to announce the same. The company’s official blog claims that Facebook’s Community Chats feature will help users “connect with their communities in real time around the topics they care about.” Users will soon be allowed to start a Community Chat on both Facebook and Messenger with — text, audio and video.
Importance of the Community Chats feature
The Community Chats feature aims to allow users to engage with different communities in real time around the topics they care about in multiple formats. The experience is expected to blend smoothly with Messenger and Facebook Groups that will allow users to connect according to their preferences.

This means that group admins won’t have to wait for people to comment on a post. The Community Chats feature will allow them to start a conversation about a topic and get in-the-moment responses. Moreover, this feature will also allow the person who created the Community Chat to organise chats into different categories. This will save other group members from navigating multiple topics in a single Messenger group chat and will help them in finding the most interesting topic.
How does it work
The Community Chat feature will help group admins to select from multiple options that will help their communities to connect. Admins can start a chat for group members around a specific topic like — an event chat for an outing or meetup, a view-only broadcast chat for admins to announce group-wide updates and an admin-only chat to connect with admins and moderators.
Moreover, admins can also create audio channels for group members to share live commentary or receive real-time support. Once the participants are in the audio channel, they will also have the option to enable video. However, it is important to note that the Community Chat feature will only be available for the members of a group.

Considering the public nature of the feature, Facebook has also developed “a robust suite of tools” that will help admins to manage both chat and audio experiences. Group admins will be offered moderation tools that will allow them to — block, mute or suspend group members and remove them or their messages.
Apart from this, the Admin Assist tool will allow admins to set custom criteria that will automatically suspend users, remove reported messages and will block messages coming from ineligible authors or containing violating content from being sent. Members of Community Chats can also report messages to group admins or Meta, block users or leave a chat at any time.

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