If you’ve ever been part of an organization that operates on WhatsApp, you can probably testify that the 256 participant limit is one of the most frustrating things about the platform. It forces management with thousands of members to spread resources thin, creating and managing multiple groups. Now, that looks set to change as the Meta-owned platform gets an update that will double the participant limit on each of your groups.
On Thursday, the WhatsApp blog announced a series of features arriving on the service, including expanding group chat sizes. Users will be able to add up to 512 people to a group. The feature is not widely available yet, but it’s slowly trickling to users. It’s still far from the 200,000 participant limit available to Telegram users via supergroups, but it’s a welcome improvement.
WhatsApp is also working on another way to manage multiple group chats efficiently: Communities. A community will appear as a new tab (like Status and Calls) within the app. It will contain many groups, allowing admins to send announcements and updates to all participants in one go. Since last year, WhatsApp Communities has been in the rumor mill, but the official announcement only came last month. The latest blog post reiterated the company's commitment to ensuring the feature starts arriving for users soon, following a positive reception after last month’s announcement.
Aside from the above in-progress features, the company announced two new additions that are already rolling out widely: reactions and an increased file sharing size limit. Per the latter, you’ll now be able to send files up to 2GB in size at once on WhatsApp, a massive jump from the previous limit of 100MB. Since last month it’s been in beta, and it's finally rolling out to users. Meanwhile, reactions allow users to respond directly to messages on the platform with six emoji (although that number should increase with time) without crowding the chat with individual replies. Here's how you can learn to use WhatsApp reactions yourself.