WhatsApp appears to be working on a “communities” feature that would change the way groups work.
The feature is still in development and is yet to be confirmed by WhatsApp. But it has been spotted by the site XDA Developers and now seems to be confirmed by WABetaInfo, which has a track record of finding WhatsApp features before they are publicly released.
The communities feature appears to be something like a group of groups: admins could create a community of students on a course, for instance, and then each class might have its own group under that name.
That is similar to how Discord works. Users are able to join a server and then will see a variety of channels, each of which might be devoted to specific things.
Admins will be able to control those communities, and share links with others that will allow them to join.
The feature is still far from confirmed. While it appears to be under development in current beta versions of WhatsApp, it might be changed significantly before it is released, or never released at all.
WhatsApp rivals such as Telegram have also been focusing on groups, which can be used something like private, controlled social networks to broadcast information to a number of people.