Message reactions are finally available on WhatsApp and can be accessed from the message options. The feature, which allows users to react to a chat bubble with an emoji, has long been available on other instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Signal but conspicuously absent on WhatsApp. However, both Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart teased the feature repeatedly before announcing a definitive launch date a few weeks ago.
Owned by Meta, WhatsApp is one of the most popular instant messaging apps globally, alongside Facebook Messenger, Signal, Telegram, iMessage, etc. Except for iMessage, which is exclusive to Apple devices, the others are cross-platform, which means they are available on both Android and iOS. WhatsApp offers many essential features that have contributed to its success globally, including two-step verification, disappearing messages, daily status updates, custom notifications, and more. In addition, with the rollout of the new feature, ‘message reactions’ have now been added to the list.
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Message reactions can include a myriad of different emojis that tell the person at the other end of a chat how the receiver felt about the message. They are a visual way to respond to a message without typing in a response. To use message reactions, download and install the latest version of WhatsApp from the App Store or the Play Store. Then go to the target chat thread and long press on the message that needs a reaction emoji. A pop-up will appear with multiple emoji reactions. Pick the most appropriate one by simply tapping on it. The emoji reaction will appear below the selected message and be visible to the person at the other end of the chat.
More Emoji Reactions Are Coming
Only six emoji reactions are available at launch, with only one skin tone — yellow. However, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart has promised that the feature will eventually support all emoji and skin tone options that users can typically use in messages. The six available emojis include a heart, thumbs up, folding hands, tears of joy, a face with an open mouth (surprised face) and a crying face.
The feature has just started rolling out server-side, which means it might take a few days to be available for everyone. So if it is not yet available for some users, check again in a few days for availability. Meanwhile, the always-reliable tipster WABetaInfo says that the company is beta-testing a feature to let users enable or disable notifications for reactions to messages they’ve sent. Called ‘Reaction Notifications,’ the feature is currently under development on Android and iOS and will be available for individual and group chats.