WhatsApp update adds new features for groups from today

WhatsApp groups can now be brought together under one umbrella with the launch of a new communities feature.

Rolling out from today, it's designed so that updates can be sent to everyone across all groups in one go, while still allowing for smaller discussions within the individual groups.

Think of it like a Russian stacking doll of WhatsApp groups, which parent company Meta says has been made with neighbourhood communities, workplaces and parents at the same school in mind.

Once you're in, you can jump between the individual groups (and presumably end up muting most of them).

Admins of communities will get even more power, such as being able to send announcement messages out to absolutely everyone in all the subgroups.

The same end-to-end encryption used in existing chats and groups will still apply, so that nobody from outside will witness those out-of-date memes you send to your teenage children.

Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg promises that the update simply "makes groups better".

How do you make a community?

You should see a new communities tab within WhatsApp - it's at the top of your chats on Android, and down at the bottom if you're using an iPhone.

From there, you can make a new community from scratch or from a selection of your existing groups.

But wait, there's more…

New features are also being added from today for existing groups.

Chief among them are polls, which might help your friends finally decide what to see at the cinema this weekend.

Video calls are also being expanded to a maximum of 32 people.

Both additions will be available in standard WhatsApp groups, and any that are made part of larger communities.

Meta says more updates are on the way in the coming months.