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The new features are expected to enhance the messaging experience for the users. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp is working on a range of new features for Android, Apple iOS, Windows and web users. Some of these features have already been spotted on beta apps. The new features include message reactions, download drawing tools, search shortcuts, and more. Here is a list of WhatsApp features that you may be able to use soon.

Message reactions are rolling out now

With an aim to make the messaging platform more user friendly, Meta-owned WhatsApp has announced that it is rolling out new features, including emoji reactions, bigger files and groups.

The message reactions feature is already available for some users on the latest version of WhatsApp, but it will be about a week or two before it reaches all WhatsApp users globally.

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The Message Reactions feature includes six emoji reactions namely - Like, Love, Laugh, Surprised, Sad and Thanks.

How to send emoji reactions

Update the latest version of the WhatsApp mobile app.

Long press on any message in a chat

A pop-up will appear with six emoji reactions

Select one of the emoji reactions to use it

Your emoji reaction will appear below the message you previously selected

Six emoji reactions available:

Like

Love

Laugh

Suprised

Sad

Thanks

2GB file sharing and bigger 512-people chats

In addition to reacting to messages with emojis, WhatsApp users can also share larger files now since WhatsApp has increased the file transfer size from 100MB to 2GB.

Besides, WhatsApp has doubled the maximum number of participants allowed in a group chat, from 256 to 512 people.

message reactions are rolling out nowHowever, as per GSM Arena, the platform has said that it is "slowly rolling out the ability" to add up to 512 people to a group, so users will have to wait before you can add more than 256 members to a WhatsApp group.

Multi-device linking feature

After recently releasing its multi-device feature on WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS, WhatsApp is now working on several improvements to allow users to link another mobile device in the most recent version of the beta.

This is a significant advance from the past when multi-devices could only be run via a desktop client or web browser.

As per reports, WhatsApp appears to be developing a feature that will allow users to talk with the same account on different phones, or a phone and a tablet. The screen instructs you to register the device you're using as a 'companion' by scanning a code with your primary phone, however, there doesn't appear to be one to scan right now. It's currently unclear if this feature will be available on iOS, but priorities suggest it would be available.

Drawing tools and media visibility features

According to WABetaInfo, the company is releasing new drawing tools to some people on WhatsApp beta for iOS. "WhatsApp is planning to introduce three new drawing tools: two new pencils and a blur tool," it added.

Among the new drawing features that WhatsApp is testing are a couple of pencil tip weights (sizes) and a blur tool. 

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WhatsApp has added new drawing tools to be able to customize our photos or images before sending them. Image Credit: Twitter

The blur tool was already available on WhatsApp for iOS, so what's new is the interface of the drawing editor when using these new drawing tools. This new interface for the drawing editor is available to some beta testers and more activations are planned at a later date. This is also coming on WhatsApp beta for Android to some people and a new changelog will be available when more users will receive the feature. 

As per a new report by WABetaInfo, the company has added a search shortcut to that redesigned page for a few Android beta testers. The shortcut was rolled out with a new update through the Google Play Beta Program. The update brings the version of the app up to 2.22.6.3.

Search shortcuts

With the new shortcut feature, users will be able to make searches straight from the info page of personal contacts and group chats. Currently, the feature is only rolling out for some testers. But even for those that get it, the report noted that the search button fails to appear sometimes. That shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s a beta. There’s no information on when the new search shortcut will arrive on the stable channel, but it hopefully shouldn’t be too long. Here is how to use

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WhatsApp testing a search message shortcut for an easier message search Image Credit: WABetaInfo

'Code verify'

'Code verify' feature to webAs per GSM Arena, the extension is called Code Verify and its sole purpose is to ensure the web version of WhatsApp is secure enough and the end-to-end encryption has not been compromised. The Code Verify has been launched by WhatsApp in partnership with Cloudflare.

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The Code Verify has been launched by WhatsApp in partnership with Cloudflare.

"Code Verify is also being open services so that other messaging sources can enable the people to verify the code they are being served on the web is the same that everyone else is using," the company said.

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The Code Verify symbol will become green if the WhatsApp Web code has been thoroughly validated.

WhatsApp said that the web app is naturally less resilient against attacks. So the Code Verify ensures the same level of security as a native app on Windows, iOS or Android. How to use Code Verify

Communities feature

WhatsApp is expected to introduce a new Communities feature for Group administrators, reported WABetaInfo. The feature is expected to provide more control to the Group administrators. With this feature, admins can create Groups within Groups. The Sub-Groups will also be end-to-end encrypted. It will be quite similar to how multiple channels are arranged under an umbrella Discord community.

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Communities could give admins the ability to create separate groups within a larger community

New chat feature for group admins

The new chat feature for group admins will allow them to delete messages sent by other group members. The said feature will be rolled out in a future update. With this upcoming feature, the group admins of WhatsApp will be able to delete anyone’s inappropriate message without needing their permission. This feature will give more power to admins over the control of the group chats. When an admin deletes a particular message in the group chat, users will see receive a notification that says ‘This was deleted by an admin’.

Option to hide ‘last seen’

Once the feature goes live, you will be able to hide your’ last seen’ status from only specific contacts and be able to see the ‘last seen’ status of all the other people in your contacts. With the latest beta release of its iOS app, WhatsApp has added an option that allows users to limit specific individuals from seeing their "Last Scene" status, according to WABetaInfo.

For a while now, WhatsApp has allowed you to limit who sees your status to only your contacts. You can also disable the feature altogether, but you have not had the ability to prevent specific individuals from seeing that information. However, WhatsApp iOS beta version 22.9.0.70 adds a new "My Contacts Except" option under the Last Seen section of the app's privacy settings. According to WABetaInfo, adding an individual to that list also prevents you from seeing their status.

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Users will be able to hide their last seen WhatsApp status from specific people.

For a while now, WhatsApp has allowed you to limit who sees your status to only your contacts. You can also disable the feature altogether, but you have not had the ability to prevent specific individuals from seeing that information. However, WhatsApp iOS beta version 22.9.0.70 adds a new "My Contacts Except" option under the Last Seen section of the app's privacy settings. According to WABetaInfo, adding an individual to that list also prevents you from seeing their status.

Reels on WhatsApp

As per WABetaInfo, the company will allow Reels inside WhatsApp “in a future update”. The feature will reportedly allow users to watch Instagram Reels directly from the messaging app. it could be a part of WhatsApp’s integration plan with other Facebook-owned apps. For those unaware, Instagram Reels is the short video feature added to the picture-sharing app last year.

Read later

The Read Later feature seems like a better version as it will not bring back the archived chats on the top of the messaging app. Currently, when you archive an individual or group chat in WhatsApp, the service hides it in the archive section, so that the chats are not visible on the top of the messaging app. However, when a new message arrives, the archived chat automatically shows up on the top of the screen, which is quite annoying. With the new Read Later feature, WhatsApp aims to eliminate these interruptions. Read later will also come with an edit button for users to customise settings. WhatsApp users will also be able to select multiple chats at once to quickly unarchive them.

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The new Read Later feature will function similar to that of Archived Chats, though it is said to offer an additional functionality. Image Credit: WABetaInfo/Twitter

Create your own sticker

The WhatsApp create your own sticker will allow users to upload a picture of their choice and make it a sticker. There could be customised tools to edit the sticker to make it funnier. That’s all the information we can divulge at the moment.

To create their own stickers, users need to follow the given steps:

1. Open WhatsApp, then open any chat

2. Click attach (paperclip icon)

3. Select Stickers

4. Upload a photo and make your own sticker with a variety of options for text and effects

5. Click the send button when done

Restrict people who can see your status

The new WhatsApp shortcut will allow you to manage status privacy settings. The shortcut will allow users to edit the list of users who will be able to see their status updates shared. WABetaInfo suggests that you will be able to spot the upcoming shortcut at the bottom of the screen when you tap on ‘Status’. With the shortcut, you will be able to quickly select the WhatsApp contacts with whom you want to share your currency or future updates.

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According to WABetaInfo, the new shortcut will be visible at the bottom of the screen when you tap on 'Status.'

Preview photos and videos

The Facebook-owned platform is working on a new way to get the document preview when you share videos and images as documents in chats. Currently, you cannot get a glimpse of an image or video sent as a document without opening it. The preview will be similar to the one that is visible when you share a PDF file as a document on WhatsApp.

Download timers

According to a report by WaBetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on a download timer that will inform you how long it will take to upload a document. This is already live on the desktop version. This feature will be especially useful for users with slower internet speeds and users sharing large files. WhatsApp is reportedly testing a new feature that will allow users to share up to 2GB of files on the app.

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This feature will be especially useful for users with slower internet speeds and users sharing large files. Image Credit: WaBetaInfo

Polls

The new feature will allow you to select a question and add several options to it. This includes adding a question and up to 12 different options for responses. The feature is initially expected to be available for WhatsApp groups and may eventually make its way to status.

This includes adding a question and up to 12 different options for responses.

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The feature appears to let you create polls for group chats. Image Credit: WABetaInfo

Members of the group chats will be able to cast their votes or check to see what the results are, without offering up an opinion of their own. This includes adding a question and up to 12 different options for responses.

2GB file size transfer limit

WhatsApp's file-sharing capabilities have become a key feature of the service, and the app has included the ability to share media files within conversations since 2017, but its 100MB file size limitation hasn't changed in that time.

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However, according to WABetaInfo, the Meta-owned service has been trialing a new 2GB file size limit for some users in Argentina over the last few days. Image Credit: WABetaInfo

Upping the limit to 2GB should make the platform a lot more amenable to sharing video clips and other large media file types, which would also be securely transferred via WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption.

It's not clear if the change is just a temporary localized test or the beginning of a wider rollout, but WhatsApp often performs trials of new features in development in this way, so there's a good chance it could become the norm for all users of the service at some point in the future.