Huge WhatsApp update that affects every user will change group chats forever

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WHATSAPP is making a big change to group chats that will make them much less annoying.

If you’ve ever been in a group chat that’s just too busy, it’s good news for you.

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An auto-mute feature could save you from major headachesCredit: WhatsApp / WABetaInfo

WhatsApp recently began testing maximum group sizes of up to 1,024 people.

And to help manage that, WhatsApp is trialling a new feature that automatically mutes very large groups when you join them.

The feature was spotted by the sleuths at WABetaInfo, who unearthed the details in the WhatsApp beta trial app.

The auto-mute feature kicks in if you try to join a group with more than either 256 or 512 participants.

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“You can obviously unmute it if you still wish to receive notifications from large groups,” WABetaInfo explained.

“But this automatic action is useful because it may save you some time.”

Of course, it’s currently impossible to have a group of beyond 512 members on the live version of WhatsApp.

And it’s unclear exactly when these changes will roll out to the general public.

Earlier this week it emerged that WhatsApp was testing enormous group sizes.

WhatsApp group sizes were originally capped at 100 people, before changing to a limit of 256 in 2016.

Then earlier this year, WhatsApp ramped this up to a frankly enormous 512 people.

Now WhatsApp is testing maximum group sizes of up to 1,024 participants.

That’s not the only new feature for group chats that WhatsApp is working on.

WhatsApp Communities

WhatsApp is also building something called Communities.

Communities are basically big groups that contain WhatsApp group chats within them.

Groups are one of the most popular ways to chat inside the Facebook-owned app.

But having multiple Groups can sometimes be chaotic – and hard to keep track of.

When it’s rolled out, it will let you message multiple groups at once.

For instance, you could have a Work Community that would have lots of smaller Groups inside.

Or maybe your local area would have a Community, which splits into separate Groups for schooling and complaining about neighbourhood issues.

“It is a private place where group admins have more control over some groups on WhatsApp, available in a future update of the app,” said WABetaInfo.

“It is like a group chat, and group admins are able to link other groups in the Community.”

WABetaInfo added: “It will be possible to reach everyone at once by sending messages to all participants of those groups linked to the community.”

Sadly Meta-owned WhatsApp hasn’t confirmed when this feature will roll out to the general public.

If you want to join the WhatsApp beta and try the latest features first, follow our guide below.

How to get WhatsApp beta

To download WhatsApp beta for your smartphone you need to go to Google Play on your Android and search for WhatsApp.

Scroll down the page until you see “Become a Beta Tester”.

Tap the “I’m In” button and then click “Join” to confirm.

Now all you have to do is wait for the update to the beta version of the app.

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Joining the WhatsApp beta on iOS is more difficult, and has limited capacity.

Follow Apple’s guide here.

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