WhatsApp plans emoji message reactions for iPhone


WhatsApp message reactions
It looks like users will have six emoji to choose from.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp is readying message reactions on iOS and Android that will roll out in a future app update. Screenshots of the feature have appeared ahead of its release, showing the ability to react to messages with select emoji.

It’s much like the message reactions feature already available to iPhone users inside iMessage. WhatsApp seems to be following Apple’s lead by only making certain emoji available, rather than allowing all of them, like Instagram.

WhatsApp is adding message reactions on mobile

Emoji reactions are a quick and effective way to acknowledge a message when you don’t have time (or can’t be bothered) to type a reply. And they’ve proven popular in recent years, with an increasing number of platforms adopting them.

WhatsApp’s upcoming implementation looks to be similar to Apple’s in that users will have select emoji to choose from. In early screenshots published by WABetaInfo on Twitter, those include:

  • Thumbs up
  • Red heart
  • Face with tears of joy
  • Face with open mouth
  • Crying face
  • Folded hands

It should be noted, however, that this feature is still in development — it hasn’t even rolled out to beta testers yet — so the selection of emoji could change before WhatsApp rolls it out to everyone.

Coming to WhatsApp soon?

It seems adding a reaction to a message will be as simple as tapping or holding the message (it’s not yet clear) to reveal the emoji picker, then selecting one. Any reactions are displayed in the bottom-right corner of the message.

This is different to the way reactions work inside Facebook Messenger and Instagram, despite them all being owned by the same company, Meta. But again, it could change before WhatsApp makes it available.

We should find out more when message reactions are made available to WhatsApp beta testers, but there’s no word on when that might be just yet.


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