By Hanno Labuschagne for MyBroadband
WhatsApp has started rolling out an update that will allow users to create groups with up to double the previous number of maximum participants.
The feature was previously only available to a limited set of users running beta versions of the Android, iOS, and web apps but is being rolled out gradually over 24 hours.
Instead of the usual 256 members, group creators will now be able to add up to 512 members.
To see if the new cap is already available on your device, select the three-dot menu from the main WhatsApp interface and choose “Create Group”.
Once you have chosen one contact to add to the group, WhatsApp will show how many more you can add at the top of the screen.
WhatsApp’s cap on group participants has left a gap for rival apps like Telegram.
With Telegram’s groups supporting up to 200,000 members, they are ideal for community watch groups and large events with numerous attendees.
But the world’s biggest messaging service could soon plug that hole, with an overhaul for groups expected to release soon.
WhatsApp will allow users to create a larger Community group that can hold various sub-groups.
Admins can add existing groups to a Community and unlink them as required.
Only Community admins will be able to send messages to all Community members. These messages will be available under an announcement group for the community.
WhatsApp has not revealed what its new group member limit would be once the Communities feature launches.
While it started testing the feature in Argentina in March 2022, it has not revealed its global launch date.