How broadcasts differ from group chat on WhatsApp

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 30, 2014
Updated • Mar 30, 2014

The popular messaging client WhatsApp offers several options when it comes to messaging other users. You can write messages to individual contacts, use group chat, or broadcasts.

The difference between the latter two may not be clear immediately. This guide addresses the differences between the two different types of group notifications on WhatsApp.

You can think of group chat and broadcasts as equivalents to CC and BCC in emails. If you select to chat with a group of contacts, all messages are shared to all group members including the full list of participants of the chat.

This is like the CC field in an email where everyone else sees the email address of all other users who were added here by the original sender.

A broadcast on the other hand is like BCC, meaning that contact information are not shared. While you will still send the same message to everyone on the list, each individual list member does not see if someone else got the same message as well.

BCC in emails takes care of that, so that the email address of each recipient of the email is not shared in each individual email.

A core difference between WhatsApp's capabilities and email is that you have to select one or the other but cannot mix the two.

When you send an email, you can use both CC and BCC in the same message, but you cannot do group chat and broadcasts at the same time in WhatsApp.

How to send broadcasts in WhatsApp

whatsapp broadcast lists

The following tutorial uses the Android version of WhatsApp. How you do it on different mobile operating systems may differ from how it is done on Android.

  1. Open the WhatsApp messenger on your device.
  2. The Chat interface opens.
  3. Tap on the options button in the top right-corner of the screen and select New broadcast list from the context menu.
  4. Type names of contacts that you want to include in the message. Note that only contacts that have your phone number in their address book will receive that message.
  5. You can add up to 256 different contacts here.
  6. Once you are done, tap on the create button.
  7. You can now start writing and sending text to all recipients of the list just like you do in group chat, but without them knowing about each other.

The broadcast groups appears in the chat listing once you have created it so that you can send out messages comfortably to that group from that moment on.

All messages that you sent out are listed under each chat partner as well if you open the contact on WhatsApp individually.

Recipients can be added or removed from that list easily. To do so, go back to the chat listing on the start page of the app.

edit broadcast lists

Long-tap on the broadcast list and select broadcast list info from the context menu that opens up after a second or two.

Here you see a listing of all recipients and a direct option to add a recipient to the list or delete the broadcast list entirely.

A long-tap on a recipient displays another menu. You can remove the contact from the list using it.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Mrs Theo said on February 4, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    How can I find out if I am a contact without them knowing. If I send a message and I am a contact I will be embarrassed.

  2. Abdulmalik Hyderabadi said on March 23, 2019 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the clarification.

  3. Anonymous said on February 21, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Thank you so much.

  4. Neve Min said on May 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    I created BRAODCAST lists last year. How do I find them from my contact list? Thank you.

  5. Anonymous said on August 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    how can i create broadcasting contact in at one time

  6. FATIMA said on July 25, 2017 at 4:17 pm


  7. khalid said on March 22, 2017 at 8:37 am

    how do i put dp in broadcast.

  8. Kingsford said on March 19, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Pls will members of a broadcast list be aware that they have been added

  9. Kingsford said on March 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I mean the question Za asked

  10. Kingsford said on March 19, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Pls was your question about broadcast list answered
    I wanna know because I’m also in your shoes

  11. Andrew said on January 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Can you select all your contacts as the recipients of a broadcast without choosing them one by one;?

  12. Davies Bamigboye said on September 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Hi.. thanks for the post but will the users know they have been added to a broadcast list? I dont want the contacts to know

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 16, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Everyone on the list receives messages you type, but they don’t know that there are other recipients.

  13. kamna said on March 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

    If i remove a person from broadcast, will he come to know abt it?

  14. Arjun shirsat said on December 30, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Hi, the problem that i face with broadcast list is that, if i delete chats from whatsup menu my broadcast list disappears. Gow do i get the list back. Plz reply

  15. Subhojit Mukherjee said on September 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

    The main difference between Broadcast and Group is,
    in a group everyone can send messages and this should be visible to all,
    but for broadcast, Only admin can post the message and it will display to all but the reply from anyone would be visible only for admin/ broadcast owner.

    1. ABC said on August 31, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Very good info. thanks

  16. Sudheer said on September 6, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Hi, the problem that i face with broadcast list is that, if i delete chats from whatsup menu my broadcast list disappears. Gow do i get the list back. Plz reply

  17. Anonymous said on August 11, 2015 at 9:44 am

    maximum how much person get the one time message…

  18. Anonymous said on August 11, 2015 at 9:39 am

    i am used whatsapp broadcast msg upto100 contact but not received everybody… i will try more times but received only 40 members ,what happen this on ?

  19. Reader said on July 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks for this great post. It is summarized well but still thorough.

  20. Adil Al-Saeed said on June 19, 2015 at 9:38 am

    thank alot

  21. Rahul Singh said on March 6, 2015 at 3:10 am

    thanx for this explanation i am satisfy by this.

  22. Za said on February 28, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    A question, if you just create a broadcast list to later on send a message, the contacts added, do they know they were added to the broadcast list?

  23. Sunny said on November 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    well u forgot to mention one very important thing that broadcast can be sent to only peoples who have you in there contact list, whatsapp has done that to avoid spam

  24. Mittal said on November 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Hi can u pl let me know the max no o broadcasting group created in whatsapp

  25. Tango said on October 16, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks a lot….

  26. Henry said on June 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    well summarized!

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