WhatsApp is reportedly working on increasing the number of participants allowed in a single group chat from the previous limit of 512 to 1024 members, and the Meta-owned instant messaging and voice-over-IP service has begun testing larger groups with some users on the beta channel. The service previously increased the group chat participant limit from 256 to 512 in June, and rolled out the ability to send larger files (to up to 2GB) and emoji reactions for messages. WhatsApp is currently working on an undo option for deleted messages, and an edit option for messages that have already been sent.
WhatsApp’s group chat limit increase for beta testers was spotted by feature tracker WABetaInfo. This is the second time this year that the participant limit for group chats has been doubled. The earlier increase in capacity entered beta testing for some users earlier this year and was rolled out in June. The ability to add 1024 users will reportedly be released to an undefined number of WhatsApp Beta users on Android and iOS through an app update this week, according to the feature tracker.
As per WABetaInfo, the company is also planning on announcing features that will provide admins better control over large group chats including introducing a pending participants section which will give admins the to view and manage requests from users to join the group and lets admins approve them at any time, along with an approval system that enables admins to give other users rights to add new participants to the group.
WhatsApp, however, has not officially confirmed the development or indicated a timeline for the release of the new limits that are being tested with some beta users. Rival app Telegram meanwhile, allows group chats to have a maximum of 2 lakh participants. However, unlike WhatsApp, Telegram chats are not protected by end-to-end encryption, which means they are less secure than WhatsApp groups.
The move is speculated to be a part of the Meta-owned service’s efforts to attract larger usage of its group chat among businesses according to a report by PhoneArena. However, WhatsApp is yet to officially make an announcement with regard to the size of group chats on the messaging service, and it is worth noting that the limit might be increased or decreased over the course of development, before it is released to all users at a future date.