WhatsApp will allow group chat sessions with up to 1023 participants

While it might seem excessive, chat groups where you can communicate via instant message with over 1000 other participants is nothing new, with WhatsApp just trying to catch up with rival Telegram, which already allows chat groups with up to 200,000 participants. Previously, group chat sessions on WhatsApp could bring together up to 512 participants.

WhatsApp’s plan is to facilitate not just chats between company employees or schoolmates, but also public discussions modeled after Telegram channels. Obviously, certain rules will be set, with group administrators deciding who can reply and who can only see posted messages.

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For example, companies, institutions and celebrities with large followings will be able to create WhatsApp groups that they can use to broadcast information to a large audience, without the followers of the group having to respond.

Participants in group chat discussions can be selected individually by the event organisers, or they can connect using the invitation link received previously. WhatsApp will eventually also offer specialised tools for more efficient management of chat groups with very large numbers of participants.

The new functionality is already being tested in the latest WhatsApp Beta, and will reach Android and iOS phone owners via automatic software updates.

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