WhatsApp Rolls Out Message Reactions, Bigger File Size Limit, New Max Group Size
WhatsApp has announced it is rolling out multiple new features today that have undergone long testing periods, including emoji reactions, bigger file transfers, and larger groups.
WhatsApp has been working on message reactions – or "Tapbacks" in Apple Messages parlance – for some time, with evidence of their development first coming to light last summer.
The feature gives messaging app users a quick and easy way to respond to a message (a thumbs-up or thumbs-down in iMessage, for example) without having to type out a lengthier text-based reply in the chat thread.
Similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp users will soon see a row of emoji just above a message. To begin with, only a handful of common reactions are available, but WhatsApp parent company Meta has said that support for "all emojis and skin-tones" will be added in the future.
WhatsApp is also rolling out a much larger 2GB cap for file transfers between users of the instant messaging platform. WhatsApp's file-sharing capabilities have become a key feature of the service, and the app has included the ability to share media files within conversations since 2017, but its 100MB file size limitation hasn't changed in that time.
Upping the limit to 2GB should make the platform a lot more amenable to sharing video clips and other large media file types, which would also be securely transferred via WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption.
Also from today, WhatsApp is expanding the default maximum size of group chats, upping the cap from 256 to 512 users. In its blog post announcing the new features, WhatsApp says the larger group limit is being rolled out "slowly," while message reactions and larger file size transfer limits are currently rolling out to users globally and should be available in the current version of the app.