What you need to know
- WhatsApp has begun rolling out emoji reactions for everyone.
- The messaging app's bigger size limit for file sharing is now available to all users.
- Users are also starting to gain the ability to add up to 512 people to a group.
After a few weeks of beta testing, WhatsApp's message reactions have begun to appear for a broader set of users on the stable channel, though the emoji selection is currently limited to six.
The new emoji reactions are rolling out on Android and iOS devices, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in a Facebook post. However, because it is a phased rollout, the new feature may not be available to everyone all at once.
Assuming emoji reactions are live for you, you should now be able to see six different emojis when long-pressing a message, as you can with many of the best messaging apps. These emojis represent common reactions, including thumbs-up, red heart, laughing face, surprised face, crying face, and praying hand gesture.
This means you'll no longer have to type your reaction to a message in full, which tends to clog up a chat with text that could be replaced with simple emojis.
While WhatsApp's emoji selection is currently limited in comparison to the larger catalog of emojis available in Telegram or Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp has vowed to add "an even broader range of expressions in the future." Support for more types of skin tones is also in the pipeline.
In addition to message reactions, the Meta-owned service now lets everyone send files up to 2GB in size at once, a significant increase from the previous limit of 100MB.
WhatsApp said in a blog post that the latest change "will be helpful for collaboration among small businesses and school groups." But it also comes in handy for people who frequently share large video files through the app.
Another useful and much-requested feature now available to all WhatsApp users is the ability to add up to 512 people to a group chat. The increase is twice as large as the previous limit.
All of these features were first announced last month, along with the new Communities tab, signaling WhatsApp's effort to take aim at its rivals such as Telegram and Slack.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.