WhatsApp now makes group chatting with a large number of people a lot easier with the release of the latest version.
Users will now be able to exchange messages with up to 256 people in a group chat. Previously, the number was limited to 100 users. This means that the latest version has increased the limit by more than two times the previous capacity.
The increased capacity is now available to iOS and Android users who have the app's latest version 2.12.13 and 2.12.437, respectively.
Android users who want to gain access to the expanded group chat limit should make sure that they have the 2.12.367 version of the app and higher in order to download the latest version.
The expanded group chat limit brought by the latest version of WhatsApp is most likely the result of the increase WhatsApp's user base, as the platform has reached more than 1 billion users. The move is also seen as a timely decision for the company after it announced that it is no longer charging its users with an annual subscription plan worth $1.
"As of today, one billion people are using WhatsApp," said the company in a blog post earlier this week. "We are proud of this milestone, and we're humbled by the extraordinary ways all of you have used WhatsApp."
The company also said it plans to get every single person in the world to join WhatsApp. This means that their next challenge is to place another 6 billion people on the platform.
Another goal is to be able to allow businesses and organizations to use WhatsApp and build their connections with the rest of the users.
"Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from," said WhatsApp. "That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight."
There are also reports saying that WhatsApp will soon launch a feature that will allow its integration with Facebook. If this pushes through, WhatsApp users will also be able to take advantage of the app's instant messaging and voice calling features with their Facebook account.
The WhatsApp for Android version 2.12.413 also reveals a new feature for users to link the messaging service to their respective Facebook handle.
Previous updates on the app include the added features of running WhatsApp on the desktop and giving users the option to archive their chats on Google Drive. Rumors are saying that a video calling feature is in the pipeline as well.
With all these newly added features, it is still unclear how WhatsApp will also be a profitable venture. The update is expected to roll out to Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other platforms in the near future.