WhatsApp to increase attachment size to 2GB, add emoji reactions, larger group calls, and more

Apr 15, 2022

WhatsApp Messenger has laid down plans for some changes coming to its apps. The Facebook-owned service is also set to introduce a new feature called Communities, to help organizations, schools, local clubs, businesses, communicate with their members.

WhatsApp to increase attachment size to 2GB, add emoji reactions, larger group calls

Communities are essentially private groups that cannot be discovered by users. Admins can invite members to join them, or link to an existing group, or create one from scratch. One important aspect of Communities is that it provides phone number privacy, so other users can't view your number, unless you interact with them directly. WhatsApp has outlined its plans for the feature.

WhatsApp Communities

Increased attachment size limit

WhatsApp is increasing the file size limits for attachments to 2GB. Currently, the apps allow users to share media (video, audio and photos) up to 16MB in size, and documents that weigh up to 100 megabytes. Naturally because of such restrictions, videos shared through the app are often in SD resolution or worse. As a workaround, people often select the document sharing option, and then pick a media file (larger than 16MB) to send to their friends and groups. The increase in the file size limit should prove useful, at least in terms of the video quality.

Larger group calls

Group Calls in WhatsApp have an unusual limit, while you can make calls within a group, it restricts the participants to the first 7 people who answer the call. If you include the caller, that brings the total number of participants to 8. WhatsApp says it will support group voice calls for up to 32 participants, with end-to-end encryption. TechCrunch has shared a screenshot that shows a new design for the group calls interface.

WhatsApp 32 users group calls

Emoji Reactions for chats

When somebody shares some news in a group, everyone chimes in with a comment to express their emotion. It is not useful to see 4 or 5 messages like "nice, good, cool, okay", in response to the message. It just adds to the clutter. Well, this is where emoji reactions are better, and WhatsApp will support it in chats. Users will be able to select an emoji to show others how they feel about a message, now that is cool.

Admins can delete messages in groups

Some of the biggest problems in social groups are spam, misinformation. Do memes and forwards count? Group admins on WhatsApp Messenger will soon be able to delete unwanted messages from the chat, which will in turn be removed from the message feed for all users in the group. This can help in preventing fake news and malicious content from spreading.

These are some good changes, but are they innovative? Let's take a brief look at what the competition has in store. Telegram added support for up to 2GB attachments in July 2020, already supports unlimited participants in group voice calls and up to 30 members in video calls. The instant messaging service introduced emoji reactions in December 2021, and allows refined controls for group admins. The Telegram desktop app is also way ahead in terms of features compared to WhatsApp, though the latter has improved its app recently.

So, WhatsApp is quite late to the party, and just playing catch up. There is no ETA regarding when the new features will go live, I use the beta version of the app, and it still has the old limitations.

Images courtesy WhatsApp

Do you use WhatsApp? If not, what is your preferred instant messenger?

WhatsApp to increase attachment size to 2GB, add emoji reactions, larger group calls, and more
Article Name
WhatsApp to increase attachment size to 2GB, add emoji reactions, larger group calls, and more
WhatsApp Messenger will soon support file attachments up to 2GB in size, emoji reactions, and allow more users to participate in group voice calls.
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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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