WhatsApp Broadcast vs WhatsApp Group: Key Differences

WhatsApp Broadcast vs WhatsApp Group

WhatsApp Broadcast is a powerful communication feature that not many users are familiar with and it is also often confused with WhatsApp groups. In this post, we’ll look into the differences between the two and explain just what WhatsApp Broadcast is and how you can create a broadcast list on WhatsApp.


WhatsApp group? WhatsApp Broadcast? Whats… what?


Two of the most common WhatsApp features users often get confused about are WhatsApp Broadcast and WhatsApp group.


Though they both involve sending messages to multiple recipients, they actually work in different ways and serve different purposes.

If you’re wondering just how, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll be answering, in depth, the question: What is the difference between group and broadcast on WhatsApp?


Disclaimer: We’re assuming that most WhatsApp users have more experience with WhatsApp group as opposed to WhatsApp Broadcast and will therefore be focusing more on the latter.


What Is A WhatsApp Group?

A WhatsApp group (if you’re not already familiar with it) works like a chat room. Participants in the group can chat with one another and all messages sent to the group are seen by everyone else in the group. 

This is a great solution to communication barriers that may come with conversations involving multiple people.


Just like regular private WhatsApp chats, you can also send out images, videos, gifs, stickers, share locations, and more to a WhatsApp group.

Some of the most popular uses of WhatsApp groups are:

  • Making plans (travel, dinner, wedding, etc.)
  • Keeping up to date with a certain group of people (family, friends, colleagues, etc.)
  • Topic discussions 

This also extends to the free WhatsApp Business app, where users can also create WhatsApp groups and tap on the benefits they offer.


For instance, a wedding planner can create a WhatsApp group with the bride, groom, and anyone else involved in the wedding to streamline and facilitate communication and discussion.


What Is A WhatsApp Broadcast?

WhatsApp Broadcast is a feature that allows you to send private messages to a selected list of recipients. Similarly, you can also send out multimedia messages, share your location, and more.


To do this, you simply create a broadcast list on WhatsApp (more on this later) by choosing to whom you want to send the message, typing your message or including a multimedia attachment, and hitting send.

Easy peasy.


Now, chances are, you’re more familiar with WhatsApp groups and up to this point, you must be thinking: WhatsApp Broadcast sounds exactly like WhatsApp groups, so what’s the difference?


What Is the Difference Between WhatsApp Group and WhatsApp Broadcast?

Simply put, the biggest difference between WhatsApp group and WhatsApp Broadcast is that with the latter, the privacy of other recipients is protected. 


The WhatsApp message you broadcast will essentially be sent as a private message to your recipients and this will show up in your corresponding private chats with them.


For instance, this is what you, as a sender, will see when sending a WhatsApp Broadcast message to three people:


WhatsApp Group Creation

An Example of a WhatsApp Group

This same exact message will be sent as a private message to the individual chats you have with them. Any replies from them will also come through these individual chats and cannot be seen by others.


WhatsApp Group Chat

Note: The loudspeaker icon next to the message is only visible to the sender. 

In a way, sending a WhatsApp Broadcast message is pretty similar to sending a BCC email. 

Essentially, recipients of a WhatsApp Broadcast message-

  • Do not know the same message is being sent to multiple people.
  • Cannot see other recipients of the broadcast message nor how many others are sent the message, and are thus unable to access their contact details.

This is unlike WhatsApp groups, where you’re not only able to see the names and contact details of everyone else in the group, but you’re also able to add them to your contact list and message them privately.


How to Broadcast a Message on WhatsApp?

Sending a broadcast message on WhatsApp is very straightforward. Here are five quick steps to doing so.

(Note: These steps are for Android devices and may differ slightly for iOS devices.)

Step 1: Open the WhatsApp app and tap on the three vertical dots at the top right-hand corner

Step 2: Tap New broadcast from the menu that opens up

Step 3: Select who you want to send the WhatsApp Broadcast message to from your address book

Step 4: Tap on the green tick icon to create your WhatsApp Broadcast list

Step 5: Create your message and hit send


The WhatsApp Broadcast list looks pretty similar to a WhatsApp group chat. However, you’ll be able to differentiate between a WhatsApp group chat window and a WhatsApp Broadcast group easily by looking at the chat icons/images on your chat list.


WhatsApp Broadcast Lists

A WhatsApp Broadcast group will have the icon/image of a loudspeaker, as opposed to the default grey WhatsApp icon of a user profile or an image the user has set.


WhatsApp Broadcast List Limits and Requirements

Now that you’ve discovered the beauty of WhatsApp Broadcast, you’re probably excited to start using it. But before you dive into it, there are some limits and requirements that you need to be aware of.


First off, WhatsApp Broadcast messages can only be received by contacts who have your number saved on their phones. So if there are people who aren’t receiving your WhatsApp Broadcast messages, make sure that you are saved as a contact in their address book.


There are also limits when it comes to the number of broadcast lists and recipients. 

WhatsApp Broadcast list group size limit: Each broadcast list is limited to 256 recipients/contacts.

WhatsApp Broadcast list limit: You can create unlimited broadcast lists.

WhatsApp Broadcast for Business

WhatsApp Broadcast is available not only to private users but also to users of the WhatsApp Business app. The features are vastly the same. But if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty, we’ve already covered this in a separate post so hop on over to our guide on WhatsApp Broadcast for Business: The Ultimate Guide For 2021


In it, we dive into using WhatsApp Broadcast on the free WhatsApp Business app as well as broadcasting options for WhatsApp API users.

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