After an agonizingly long month of waiting for some users since Meta first announced the haul of features coming to their dedicated messaging app, WhatsApp is finally rolling out emoji reactions, dramatically increased file transfer limits, and bigger and better groups in a new update.
Headlining this haul of much-requested features is WhatsApp’s attempt at introducing emoji reactions so users can easily react to messages in a fun and friendly manner. Unfortunately however for those looking to truly express themselves with a range of emotions, WhatsApp is only giving users the thumbs up, heart, laughter, surprise, crying, and the folded hands emoji to react with.
In their blog post that declared the rollout of this update officially underway, WhatsApp mercifully noted that they will be expanding the range of emojis and skin tones that are available as reactions in the future, however, no timeline for these future plans was given.
Thankfully, the somewhat lackluster emoji reactions aren’t the only feature being added to WhatsApp in this update, as the Meta owned messaging service is also dramatically increasing its file transfer limits, allowing users to send up to 2GB in size, which should allow for far easier collaboration on projects and video sharing.
As if file transfer limits weren’t enough cause for celebration already, Meta is also improving WhatsApp’s groups by “slowing rolling out” the ability to add up to 512 people into one very crowded group.
Analysis: Crying Emoji
While emoji reactions are an incredibly useful tool for those who are a part of WhatsApp’s new larger groups and aren’t looking to clutter up the chat with too many messages, the current selection of just six emojis leaves a surprisingly large amount to be desired from Meta, one of the world’s biggest tech companies.
While more emojis and skin tones are set to arrive in the future, another half dozen emojis to use would still leave WhatsApp lagging behind other messaging apps such as Slack, Telegram, and Discord, which allow for much more expression and the option of using custom animated emojis.
WhatsApp’s main selling point of being secure and offering end-to-end encrypted messages is faltering in the eyes of many of its users, thanks to its ownership by Meta. The company may have to do a lot more than adding a handful of reactions and expanding a few features if it wants to lure potential users away from other apps on the market.