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WhatsApp Starts Beta Testing Novi Digital Wallet, Special Community Groups

WhatsApp might be Meta’s least controversial app, and the tech giant has been focusing on trying to make it as streamlined and optimized as possible. One aspect of this has involved trying to incorporate WhatsApp into ecommerce, something that the messaging app has already unofficially been involved in for quite some time now. One of the latest updates that we are seeing in the beta tests for WhatsApp involves a change that could dramatically ease transactions through the platform.

This is the integration of Novi into WhatsApp’s overall framework. The Novi Digital Wallet can allow users to send and receive money from others without having to pay any fees, essentially being similar to what users can get from apps like Venmo and CashApp. Meta is clearly trying to zero in on potential gains that can be obtained from foraying into that industry, and the fact that WhatsApp is already such a big part of so many people’s lives is something that would definitely give it a bit of a leg up in that regard.


With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that only US based users will able to check this feature out, and that too only a select group of them. This has the potential to make conducting business over WhatsApp a great deal easier, and that sort of thing tends to happen outside of the US a lot more including in Africa and South Asia. Hence, the true value and popularity of this feature will only be seen once it gets rolled out in those regions.

A second update as spotted by WABI is called Communities. It essentially allows you to link various groups that you might be the admin of because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up simplifying the process by which you might be trying to moderate these disparate groups. It can also create a bit of synergy that is vital for making the groups truly worthwhile, and that might be why WhatsApp is trying to emphasize this feature so much.

Group members will also be able to use this to see what content is being shared throughout various groups in their community. This is a very Facebook-esque feature, and it might be part of a push from Meta to make WhatsApp more of a social media app rather than just letting it remain a simple messaging app. If that’s the case, it might alienate some users that only use WhatsApp for the messaging feature and are wary of it becoming more like a social media platform.


Read next: WhatsApp Beta Rolls Out Automatic Logout for Linked Devices

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