The Eternal Mystery: Why Did They Chose 256?

In early 2016, WhatsApp increased the maximum number of people who could be in a group chat from its original limit of 100 all the way up to 256. Online tech journal tasked one Nick Salerni to rewrite the WhatsApp press release about this increase.

According to Salerni’s bio on the article he wrote about this, he is “a software engineer with a passion for creating and innovation using technology.” Maybe that’s true, but I’m not sure you’d want to rely on Salerni for anything mission critical after his opening couple of paragraphs (emphasis added),

The maximum number of people you can have in a WhatsApp group chat has increased to 256, rather than 100 as it was before.

It’s not clear why WhatsApp settled on the oddly specific number, but it’ll be good news for those users for whom 100 just wasn’t big enough. Most people use WhatsApp to talk to individuals and maybe a small group of friends, but for publishers, companies and online communities, the larger groups could come in useful.

Oh. My. God.

If you are working on a master’s in computer science and you don’t understand why WhatsApp settled on 256 maximum users, you might want to rethink your life choices.

Leave a Reply