Group chats can be a terrible experience for everyone, especially when you just need to send a single message—like an invitation—to a bunch of people at once. WhatsApp has a much better feature you can use instead: Broadcast Lists.

A Broadcast List lets you send the same WhatsApp message to up to 256 recipients at once. Each recipient receives the message as a normal WhatsApp message from the sender, instead of being included in a huge group chat that will quickly get out of hand. As an additional spam filter, only people who have the sender’s phone number saved in their contact list will receive the message.

How to Create a Broadcast List

Creating a broadcast list differs slightly based on whether you’re using an iPhone or Android phone.

On an iPhone

On iOS, tap “Broadcast Lists” at the top of the chat screen. On the Broadcast Lists page, tap the “New List” button.

Select all the people you want to add (up to 256) and then tap the “Create” button. This creates a broadcast list with all the people you selected.

On Android

On Android, tap the Menu Button and then select the “New Broadcast” option. On the New Broadcast page, select all the people you want to add and then tap the green check mark.

This adds the new Broadcast List to the top of the chat screen.

Sending Broadcast Messages

To send a Broadcast, all you have to do is select the Broadcast List you want to use. It looks much like a normal group chat, but anything you send is received as a separate message by each person.

If one of the list recipients reply to your broadcast, their reply message goes only to you instead of to the whole group.

Editing Broadcast Lists

Editing broadcast lists also differs slightly, depending on whether you’re using an iPhone or Android phone.

On an iPhone

Go to your Broadcasts List and tap the information icon (the “i” in the blue circle). The List Info page lets you give your list a name or edit the recipients.

To delete a list, swipe it to the left, and then tap the “Delete” button.

On Android

Select the Broadcast List from the Chat Screen, tap the menu button, and then select the “Broadcast List Info” option. On the list page, tap the “Edit” button (pen icon) to give your list a name or edit the recipients. Click the “Delete Broadcast List” option to delete your list.

Broadcast List are more useful than group chats in a number of situations. This is particularly true for times when you want to send information and don’t except a reply, or when you don’t need replies to be seen by all participants.

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Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
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