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Is Whatsapp losing sight of its purpose?

Is Whatsapp losing sight of its purpose?
Russell Kidson

Russell Kidson

WhatsApp has introduced a brand-new feature into its Groups function. Right about now you’re likely thinking, ‘but wait, I’ve heard this before. You wrote about it last week.’ Indeed I did. However, there’s another new feature coming to WhatsApp groups. Within the coming months, groups above a certain size will automatically be muted.

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 Of course, Meta doesn’t say what the threshold of being considered a large enough group is. Although, WhatsApp did just recently update its maximum group participant count to 1024. Even though this is a relatively handy feature if you belong to groups that exceed a certain number of participants, aren’t all these WhatsApp updates getting a little bit much?

So many features have been added to the WhatsApp Groups ecosystem lately that it’s bound to feel almost overwhelming to the average user. It’s not only the WhatsApp Groups function that’s been hit with a barrage of updates and new features lately, either. It’s the entire WhatsApp ecosystem. What started out as a humble messaging service has turned into a fully-fledged social media utility. The app that used to be for merely communicating with family members and close friends has become yet another way to put up the classic facade of perfection associated with social media. An even bigger leap firmly into the realm of conventional social media comes in the form of WhatsApp Communities

Are WhatsApp Groups getting out of control?

While loading an app with features typically drives its demand up against that of its competitors, WhatsApp seems to be moving in a direction closer to the industry within which Meta almost has a monopoly. WhatsApp may be more advanced and feature-rich than its competitors like Signal and Telegram, but at what point do average Joe and Jill decide that all they really wanted out of WhatsApp was a simple messaging system? 

In a time where more and more people move towards the idea of a simpler life, free of all the stress and anxiety that social media seems to bring wherever it goes, there seems to be a hole opening up in the communication market again. A hole that, ironically, none of the tech giants seem to be aware of or looking to fill. This hole is for simple communication, like in the days before the internet went mainstream and humanity started living out its entire existence under the public scrutiny of social media. 

In the meantime, WhatsApp continues to add more features as if that somehow adds more worth to the app. There are new Avatars in the testing phase, and you can decide who sees your WhatsApp status. Are all of these upgrades necessary? We’ll let you decide.

Russell Kidson

Russell Kidson

I hail from the awe-inspiring beauty of South Africa. Born and raised in Pretoria, I've always had a deep interest in local history, particularly conflicts, architecture, and our country's rich past of being a plaything for European aristocracy. 'Tis an attempt at humor. My interest in history has since translated into hours at a time researching everything from the many reasons the Titanic sank (really, it's a wonder she ever left Belfast) to why Minecraft is such a feat of human technological accomplishment. I am an avid video gamer (Sims 4 definitely counts as video gaming, I checked) and particularly enjoy playing the part of a relatively benign overlord in Minecraft. I enjoy the diverse experiences gaming offers the player. Within the space of a few hours, a player can go from having a career as an interior decorator in Sims, to training as an archer under Niruin in Skyrim. I believe video games have so much more to teach humanity about community, kindness, and loyalty, and I enjoy the opportunity to bring concepts of the like into literary pieces.

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