WhatsApp new features: emoji reactions, bigger groups, larger file size update rolls out

You will finally be able to react to a message directly, instead of replying to it.

Highlights
  • WhatsApp is rolling out emoji reactions to messages in group and individual chats.
  • The company is also expanding the file sharing limit from 100MB to 2GB and the group limit from 256 to 512 members.
  • WhatsApp emoji reactions feature will be made available to users in a week.

WhatsApp is finally rolling out emoji reactions to messages in addition to the ability to share files up to 2GB in size — which is a jump from the previous 100MB limit. The company is also doubling the maximum size of group chats. For those unaware, these features were announced by the company last month and said they would be coming ‘soon’. Besides WhatsApp, Slack and Telegram have had reactions for a while.

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At launch, there will be a select few emojis to start with and support for “all emojis and skin tones” would be added in the future. Reactions allow users to react to a message without clogging up the group chats.

WhatsApp emoji reactions

WhatsApp Emoji reactions

After being in the testing phase, WhatsApp is rolling out emoji reactions such as love, laugh, surprise, sadness and thanks to chats. As said, the list will be eventually increased to more emojis and colour tones. For users to react to messages, they need to long-press a message and then tap on the displayed emoji.

WhatsApp will notify the message sender a notification after someone reacts to their messages. Users can react with only a single emoji to messages but they can change the reaction even after reacting or remove it altogether.

WhatsApp group limit

Besides reactions, WhatsApp is also expanding the default size of group chats from 256 to 512 members. The emoji reactions feature will be rolled out to everyone in ‘about a week’ but some users may already have the feature, according to Meta spokesperson Vispi Bhopti.

WhatsApp file size

WhatsApp is also expanding the file size limit for sharing files to 2GB but this is limited to documents and not photos and videos, which is still restricted to 16MB.

As said, while reactions and increased file size limits will be available in the current version, the larger groups feature will be slowly rolled out. The timeline for it hasn’t been revealed.