WhatsApp announced that they are excited to share that emoji reactions are now available on the latest version of the app. Reactions are fun, fast, and they reduce overload in groups too. WhatsApp will continue improving them by adding an even broader range of expressions in the future.
In addition, you can now send files within WhatsApp up to 2GB in size at a time, protected by end-to-end encryption. This is an increase from the previous limit of 100MB and we think it will be helpful for collaboration among small businesses and school groups. We recommend using WiFi for larger files and we’ll display a counter while uploading or downloading to let you know how long your transfer will take.
WhatsApp is also giving users the option to add more people to a chat, which was one of their top requests from users. WhatsApp is slowly rolling out the ability to add up to 512 people to a group. Building private, safe, and secure communities takes work and WhatsApp thinks this series of improvements will help people and groups to stay close to one another.
To me, it sounds like WhatsApp is trying to compete with Twitter’s recently announced a feature called Twitter Circle. It lets Twitter users add up to 150 close friends – who will be the only ones that can see the tweets you put into your Circle. WhatsApp allows 512 people in their chats, which might be appealing for those who want to be able to add more than the 150 that Twitter allows.
9to5Mac reported that WhatsApp users in Brazil will have to wait a few months more for the new features. According to 9to5Mac, WhatsApp stated: “Based solely on our long-term strategy for Brazil, this last functionality will only be implemented after being tested in other markets”.
That “last functionality” appears to be the ability to add up to 512 people to a group. 9to5Mac stated: As a matter of fact, with presidential elections coming in October, this is part of the Brazilian Superior Court’s attempt to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation through groups – as it occurs in other apps, such as Telegram.
Mashable reported that last month WhatsApp announced Communities, which are another way to expand group chats by knitting Groups together into a Community – just like Slack.
I have never used WhatsApp, but I can see where it would be appealing to be able to use emoji Reactions on it. The ability to send files up to 2GB in size at a time could be useful for artists who want to show their latest painting, drawing or photo to specific friends. WhatsApp says those files would be protected by end-to-end encryption, which might make people feel more secure about sharing those kinds of files.
On May 3, WhatsApp tweeted: “Pro-tip: Now you can put 32 of your favorite people in ONE voice call. Sharing good news with your whole family means hearing all the joy and laughter in one easy call.” I can see where this feature would be useful, but it’s not for me.