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WhatsApp is still the instant communication king for consumers, but it is not the place to go for bleeding-edge features. In an effort to reach feature parity with rivals like Telegram, WhatsApp is rolling out an update with a bunch of new features.

While Telegram users will be wondering what the fuss is about as the new features are already on that platform, they are a welcome addition for WhatsApp users. Available on iOS and Android, the new features start with Communities.

Communities allow existing groups/organizations like school classes or meeting groups to gather in a  single chat and share media. They borrow from the popular Groups and Channels feature on Telegram and provide more tools than regular WhatsApp groups. The company says Communities will have private and boast end-to-end encryption.

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Elsewhere, the app is also getting emoji reactions, catching up to apps such as Instagram, Messenger, and Twitter. For those on the desktop version, WhatsApp will be rolling out emoji shortcuts.

More Changes

WhatsApp is not really a business or meeting app in the way Microsoft Teams is. However, the company is boosting the number of participants able to enter a voice call to 32 simultaneously. Until, this update, only eight participants could enter a call. Again, it is hardly a virtual conference ability, but still a welcome addition.

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Perhaps the change users will appreciate the most is an increase in the accepted file size limit. Previously, users could only attach files up to 100MB (document, image, video). That is a low limit considering WA promotes sharing. Now, the app has a much more generous file size limit of 2GB.

Remember, over on Windows, WhatsApp is becoming much more powerful thanks to a recent update that brought video calling, GIF support, and chart archiving.

Tip of the day: To prevent attackers from capturing your password, Secure Sign-in asks the user to perform a physical action that activates the sign-in screen. In some cases, this is a dedicated “Windows Security” button, but the most common case in Windows is the Ctrl+Alt Del hotkey. In our tutorial, we show you how to activate this feature.

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