Everyone will soon get access to WhatsApp’s emoji reactions, plus bigger file sharing and larger group chats

    WhatsApp has been working out a few new features for the extremely popular cross-platform chat app, and soon everyone will get to join in on the fun, not just early testers.

    We’ve mentioned some of these features before, but soon you should see your app update to support emoji reactions, a bigger file sharing limit, and an increased cap on group chats for up to 512 people.

    WhatsApp emoji reactions

    The emoji reactions, in case you’ve never seen them in action, give you a more nuanced way to respond to messages. Instead of having to reply directly to a message, whether with text or a GIF or whatever else, you can long press the message to apply an effect to it. This will pop a small notification if you really liked the message, but don’t want to crowd the group chat with a separate reply.

    At launch you’ll have access to six reactions in WhatsApp, including a thumbs up, heart, laughing face, surprised face, crying face, and praying hands gesture. That should cover most of the emotions you might be feeling in your fantasy football group chat, right?

    Meta has said they’ll be adding more reactions and emojis in the future, to keep it competitive with other messaging services that offer a huge amount of custom emojis to throw around everywhere.

    Bigger files, larger group chats

    Besides the emoji reactions, you’ll also notice that the file size limit has increased on WhatsApp. You’ll now be able to send files up to 2GB in size, which is roughly a 20x increase from the previous 100mb limit. The feature seems to be targeted for small businesses and schools, but tons of people will be able to benefit from the higher ceiling, especially in the days of 4K smartphone cameras and high framerate videos.

    Additionally, you can now have up to 512 people in a group chat, up from 256 people before. That’s a lot of people for a regular group chat, but it does position WhatsApp as something that you can use as an alternative to Discord or something in certain circumstances.

    These features are already rolling out to users now, but Meta is deploying these in waves. If you don’t have the new features yet, just sit tight; the update should be there soon.

    Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

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