WhatsApp, the popular messaging service recently made the news because it achieved a significant milestone, there are over 1 billion people using this app actively every month. Facebook acquired this service about two years ago and while the service used to cost $1 for one year, last month, the company mentioned that they were getting rid of this subscription fee, which could only help it become even more popular. Recent stats mention that over 42 billion messages are sent or received each day, users share over 1.6 billion photos and 250 million videos daily and it has over 1 billion group chats.
The app is updated constantly and sometimes it includes new features like voice calling, which just became available last year. In the latest update, WhatsApp is including a feature that could be very useful for those with large group chats. While before the app supported up to 100 users on a single chat, the updated app now supports a maximum of 256 users in a single chat group. This is enabled in WhatsApp version 2.12.367 or a more recent version. The app can be updated from the Google Play Store or those who desperately need that functionality can download the most recent version from the company's website, which is 2.12.437. The app is getting updated to include this functionality on iOS as well, and it is unknown if additional platforms like Windows Phone or BlackBerry would get support for additional users within a single group. After updating the app, users will be prompted with a notification in the group chat section to let them know about this change, but besides that, everything will still look and work just like it used to.
Since the number of group chats is quite large, this new feature could benefit much more than just average users, but let's face it, such large groups are hardly meant to be used by regular users. Businesses could benefit from larger groups, and it has been said that a way to monetize this service would be to charge them to use it, so businesses could end up creating focus groups and virtual get-togethers which certainly involves more people.