Check out emoji reactions, larger calls and other new features for WhatsApp groups

You can now react with emoji in WhatsApp group chats, participate in larger audio calls, delete problematic messages for everyone and so forth.

Meta's marketing image showcasing four new features for WhatsApp groups: Emoji reactions, admin delete, 32-person audio calls and file sharing up to 2GB
Image credit: WhatsApp
  • WhatsApp has launched four new features for group chats that it has spent several months testing, including emoji reactions and larger audio calls.
  • Message reactions will initially include six emoji characters, but the company is testing adding custom emoji to reactions, similar to Instagram.
  • Emoji reactions and other new features for groups will be brought to WhatsApp users in stages over the coming weeks, the Meta-owned company has said.

WhatsApp rolls out four group chat enhancements

The Meta-owned service has announced a new Communities feature alongside some interesting enhancements for groups that will be arriving soon. Aside from emoji reactions, group chat participants can now share large files and engage in larger voice calls than before. Group administrators, on the other hand, can now erase a message in a group chat for everyone. The features were announced in WhatsApp’s blog post, and here’s a quick rundown.

1. Emoji reactions

Emoji reactions on WhatsApp are like Tapbacks on iMessage. Better yet, if you’ve used reactions on Instagram, you’ll know how to react with emoji on WhatsApp. You can react to any message in a group chat with a thumbs up, heart, laughing face, shocked face, crying face and prayer hands. WhatsApp head Will Cathcart tweeted that the app will bring support for all emojis and skin tones in the future.

This could be especially helpful in terms of being able to quickly share your feelings without inundating other chat participants with new messages. Emoji reactions appear right above chat bubbles. For the time being, emoji reactions are limited to group chats and cannot be used in one-to-one exchanges. Emoji reactions are end-to-end encrypted so no one, not even WhatsApp, can see your opinion on something. Read: How to check if a phone number is on WhatsApp

2. Admin delete

If you’ve ever chatted with more than two people at once, you know things can quickly spiral out of control. A contentious message from someone in a group chat can easily ruin the experience for everyone. Or maybe you’ve accidentally hit the Enter key, sending an errant message. Well, now group administrators can remove errant or problematic messages from everyone’s chats.

3. File sharing up to 2GB

WhatsApp previously restricted file size to one hundred megabytes, preventing chat participants from sending larger files in group chats. As we wrote before, this ceiling is now being raised significantly. As a result, people in a group chat can now share files up to two gigabytes, making collaborating on projects much easier than before. Read: How to send videos and live photos as GIFs on WhatsApp

4. 32-person audio calls

WhatsApp in 2018 introduced the ability to conduct group audio or video calls with up to four participants simultaneously. Group calls would later get improved to allow for eight participants simultaneously, and now even larger audio calls are possible. According to the company, one-tap voice calling for up to 32 people is coming and not only that but there will be a new design “for those times when talking live is better than chatting,” which could include custom wallpapers for calls.

When will those features launch for everyone?

WhatsApp has said that this is just the beginning as the company is doubling-down on  bringing even more new community features in the future. To that point, WhatsApp is currently testing polls in group chats.

But when can you start using the new features for groups that we’ve just summarized for you? According to the company, emoji reactions and other group enhancements are arriving in the coming weeks. Staggered rollouts are common for WhatsApp and other major developers. Instead of launching new features for all users on the same day, they are being gradually rolled out so that WhatsApp could gather feedback from early adopters and test how its servers are handling an increase in traffic. Read: 5 new WhatsApp voice messaging features