Huge WhatsApp update TODAY adds message reactions and two amazing features

WHATSAPP has issued a huge update that adds brand new features – including message reactions.

The major change is rolling out today, and will also massively increase group size.

Many of the changes have been teased in recent weeks and months.

But you'll now be able to access them on the regular WhatsApp app for the first time.

The biggest change is the addition of Facebook-style message reactions.

This means you can quickly react to a message without having to send an entire text.

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Mark Zuckerberg – who runs WhatsApp-owner Meta – shared the news with a selection of reaction emoji.

They include thumbs up, love heart, crying with laughter, shocked face, sad tear, and pray (or high five).

"Reactions are fun, fast, and they reduce overload in groups too," said WhatsApp.

"We'll continue improving them by adding an even broader range of expressions in the future."

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WhatsApp previously said it eventually plans to add multiple skin tones and all emoji in future.

That's not the only change: group chats are also getting a size boost.

WhatsApp group sizes used to be 100 people maximum, before changing to 256 in 2016.

Now the new limit will be 512 participants in a single group chat.

It comes before WhatsApp adds its long-awaited Communities feature – which will let you create "parent groups" that contain lots of group chats within them.

The final change in this major update is the ability to send much bigger files over WhatsApp.

Previously you were limited to 100MB files, but the cap has now been raised to 2GB – a twenty-fold increase.

"We think [it] will be helpful for collaboration among small businesses and school groups," said WhatsApp.

"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."

These new features are rolling out today, so keep checking your app (and app stores) for updates.

If you want to try upcoming features before everyone else, consider joining the WhatsApp beta to test changes using our guide below.

How to get WhatsApp beta

To download WhatsApp beta for your smartphone you need to go to Google Play on your Android and search for WhatsApp.

Scroll down the page until you see "Become a Beta Tester".

Tap the "I'm In" button and then click "Join" to confirm.

Now all you have to do is wait for the update to the beta version of the app.

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Joining the WhatsApp beta on iPhone is more difficult, and has limited capacity.

Follow Apple’s guide here.

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