Boasting more than 1.5 billion users around the world, WhatsApp has become the primary means of communication in large parts of Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Although there have been some concerns about privacy on the app, the overall consensus has been so positive for the California-based enterprise that the future looks even brighter for the app.
It’s for this reason that five years after its release, Facebook decided to invest a massive sum of over $19 billion in acquiring this messaging app. Even Facebook’s very own messaging app, the Messenger, could not compete with the worldwide popularity of WhatsApp.
Amazing Features for a Freeware App
Perhaps the single-most-important reason for WhatsApp’s popularity is that it’s completely free. Initially, the creators of WhatsApp had figured they would take low, yearly subscription fees from their users. But it never came to fruition. If it had, WhatsApp wouldn’t be as popular as it’s now.
What’s even better is that there are no ads on WhatsApp. For a free app that gives you so many possibilities, this is a staggering feature.
For a freeware, WhatsApp also boasts amazing features. Apart from being a wonderfully convenient text messaging app, WhatsApp also gives you the ability to share pictures, videos, documents, voice recordings, as well as your contacts and locations. All this, in addition to features like voice and video calling, makes WhatsApp an all-in-one app, the likes of which we had never seen before.
What’s a WhatsApp Group?
Apart from individual contacts, you can also send messages to groups of people on WhatsApp. Anyone can create a group under any name and then share messages with other members of the group.
You can also have multiple groups on the platform. Whether it’s family, school-mates, work colleagues, homemakers around the neighborhood block, or kids who go to the YMCA every week, you can have a group for virtually anything!
Also, it works as a great feature for mobilization campaigns. In countries like India, political parties actively use WhatsApp to exchange messages with their followers. It has its downsides, too, as someone could use the app to spread disinformation.
Earlier, the number of members you could add to a WhatsApp group was limited to 100. But in 2016, WhatsApp increased the number of members who could participate in a single group to 256 people.
You Can Go Over the Limit
While WhatsApp allows for 256 people to join a single chat group, there are ways to increase the number of members even further. In this write-up, we’ll tell you how you can go about doing that.
Earlier, you’d have to invite individual contacts to join a group. But then WhatsApp announced a feature through which you only needed to share an invitation link for people to join.
Let’s assume you are the admin of a group that already has 256 members. If you try to add more members individually, WhatsApp will inform you that it’s not possible because you’ve reached the limit. However, if you continue to invite people via a link, they’ll still be able to join.
If you want to increase the number of people, even more, there’s a trickier, more technical way. Only move forward with this process if you’re fairly technical. You’ll need to root your device before embarking on this process. There are a ton of resources available online, which will show you how to root your smartphone, so googling one shouldn’t be hard.
Warning: Rooting your device can have undesirable consequences, so understand the risks before doing it. Your warranty will be void, and there could be security risks as well.
After rooting your device, you’ll have to follow the steps explained below.
Download ES File Explorer  from the Google Play Store.
Open ES File Explorer and tap on Menu from the top left corner of the app. Then enable Root Explorer.
Now, open the following directory and edit the com.WhatsApp_Prefer file.
Path of Directory: data/data/com.whatsapp/shared_prefs/
If you encounter an error trying to open it, go to the More option located in the bottom right corner of the app. Then tap on Properties. Select the Change option and then tap on Permission field.
Now, give all permissions to this file and then tap on OK.
Open the com.Whatsapp.prefer in Edit mode. Search to field participants_size_limit. The value is set to 257 by default. You can change it to any number you want. To try out if the method is working, change it to 999 and tap on Save on the top bar!
Go to Settings and then tap on Apps. Select WhatsApp and Force Stop it.
Create Bigger Groups
The two methods explained in this writeup should allow you to create bigger groups on WhatsApp. If you’re tech-savvy, you can go with the second option, but if you’re a casual smartphone user, stick to the first one.
Have you tried the method with invitation links? Or maybe you’ve decided to take the technical approach? Anyway, how did it go, have you managed to get more than 256 people in your group?