So you just downloaded WhatsApp, or you’ve been using it for a long time, and you’re trying to figure out how to find and join some different online communities, otherwise what are known as Groups in WhatsApp. Groups operate as a great way to bring friends together in one chat for, say, organizing a surprise party, getting together at the bar, and so on.
Groups are also a great way to bring people together that are simply interested in the same hobbies and activities. How do you go about finding and joining a group on WhatsApp though? Unfortunately, it’s a little more difficult than it initially appears.
WhatsApp isn’t Kik
It’s worth noting that WhatsApp isn’t like Kik in that it’s way more private. Kik is generally more public and community-focused, allowing you to join public groups and communities. WhatsApp is closed off, only allowing you to join groups with an invite link. You could think of Kik as a public forum, but WhatsApp simply an extension of your private text messages.
That’s a long way to say that you can’t just go out and join any group you want in WhatsApp. However, you can still join groups, but you have to be invited by the group owner.
Joining a group
To join a group, you need to request an invite link be sent to you by the Group Administrator, essentially the creator of the group. To do that, for the most part, you need to know the person, and generally be related to that group in some way. For example, if you were a part of a softball league, it would make sense that you get an invite link to a Softball league group chat to organize practices and games.
Despite Groups being more private on WhatsApp, there are still public groups out there, but you have to Google around for them. One website you can look for groups on is simply called Group Links. You can go there, and open a list of Groups that have been publicly submitted.
Once you find one that you’re interested in, all you need to do is tap on your Invite Link of choice, and then WhatsApp will open — if you’re logged in — and you’ll be immediately placed in that group. You can talk with group members as normal, but remember to be respectful online, as the Group Administrator can always kick you out or block you from the group.
Where do you go for public groups?
As you can see, WhatsApp isn’t the best place for public groups. It’s much more closed off and is better for friends and family groups. However, there are apps that are much better for communities and public forums. One of those is Kik — Kik allows you to very easily search for public groups that you’re interested in, join them, and make friends.
There are other places that are great for communities of people, like GroupMe as well. Searching for “group chats” in Google Play or the App Store opens up plenty of different options for you.
By following the steps above, you make it fairly easy to join a group on WhatsApp. By getting that invite link, it’s literally as simple as tapping on it to join the group — you just need to make sure you have WhatsApp on your phone and are already logged in.
If you’re looking for a public group or community, other apps like Kik or GroupMe are much better choices for that. Do you have a favorite app as your go-to for finding and joining online communities? Let us know in the comments section below.