whatsapp is now unfolding the ability to react to a message with emoji, as well as share files up to 2GB in size, a massive jump from the previous 100MB limit. Meta, the company behind WhatsApp, said last month that these features would be coming “soon,” and it looks like today is the day. The company also announced Thursday that it will double the maximum size of group chats.
When reactions were first announced, Meta said you’d only be able to use a few to start with, but support for “all emojis and skin tones” would be added in the future.
Reactions are a handy feature, which is why other apps like Slack and Telegram have had them for a while: If you want to be able to prove that a message made you laugh without clogging up group chat, now you have a way to do that. That will be very important soon, as WhatsApp is also expanding the default maximum size of group chats, with a limit ranging from 256 to 512 (although there have reportedly been workarounds to exceed the previous limit).
WhatsApp blog post notes that larger groups are being “slowly” rolled out, while emoji reactions and increased file size limits are available in the current version of the app. Meta spokesman Vispi Bhopti said the edge that the company expects reactions to roll out to everyone in “about a week,” but added that some users already have the feature.
Update May 5, 7:13 pm ET: Added information about how long it would take for emoji reactions to roll out.