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WhatsApp’s Doubling the Size of Group Chats in the App

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WhatsApp's Doubling the Size of Group Chats in the App

WhatsApp has launched the first stage of its new Communities roll out, with Reactions now available in group chats, and users now able to send files within WhatsApp up to 2GB in size at a time, up from its previous 100MB limit.

WhatsApp announced its new Communities initiative last month, which, in addition to these elements, will also include new admin tools, sub-groups, 32-person audio chats, and more.

WhatsApp update

But that’s apparently not all – in addition to these already announced updates, WhatsApp is also now gradually rolling out the ability to add up to 512 people to a group chat.

That’s a significant expansion – users can currently add up to 256 people to a WhatsApp group chat, which will now be doubled, which could facilitate a range of new usage and communication options.

Though it could also open WhatsApp up to more activity by criminal groups, or those looking to spread misinformation or other harmful content via its encrypted discussion chains.

Back in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, WhatsApp implemented new restrictions on message forwarding in the app, in order to combat the rise of misinformation campaigns flowing through chat threads. That resulted in a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages, and with over 2 billion WhatsApp users worldwide, that’s a potentially significant impact on the activity of ill-intentioned groups. 

Could doubling the size of WhatsApp groups be a step in the wrong direction on this front?

Concerns aside, the expansion could also open up new opportunities for marketers to create brand-affiliated groups in WhatsApp, where they could provide exclusive offers and sneak peaks to their most loyal, engaged customers. I mean, you can already do this now, with up to 256 of your top customers, but by opening that up to even more people, that could make it a more valuable proposition too.

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It’s not available to all users as yet, but if you were looking to make a super-massive WhatsApp group, that option is coming, which could open up new opportunities.

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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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