WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 7

  • WhatsApp is working on bringing message reactions to the chat app.
  • The feature would likely allow users to reply to messages directly with emojis.
  • It’s unclear when the feature will roll out to beta and stable channels.

The only way to respond to a WhatsApp message at present is to send a follow-up message. Sure, you can reply with an audio message or initiate a call, but unlike other chat platforms, there’s no way to send quick and simple “message reactions.” However, this could soon change.

According to feature tipster WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on bringing message reactions to the platform. Although the feature isn’t yet available, it seems likely that it would mirror reaction functionality on the likes of Signal. Users would be able to send “reactions,” presumably in the form of emojis, to new messages. This would give users an alternative way to express their feelings towards a statement without sending a follow-up reply.

As with the recently rolled out View Once feature, those running older versions of WhatsApp won’t be able to receive reactions. Instead, they’ll be met with a message prompting them to upgrade their app version.

Message reactions would be a relatively minor feature addition, but they could be valuable in specific scenarios. Group chats are often inundated with multiple replies from several users. Sending a message reaction could be a useful alternative to decrease clutter. If implemented efficiently, it could also provide a quicker way to acknowledge a message when occupied or in a time crunch.

WhatsApp message reactions: When will the feature land?

It’s unclear how WhatsApp will implement message reactions or whether users can react with virtually any emoji. The specifics aren’t yet known. It’s likely that the feature will wallow in beta builds before arriving for everyone, so don’t expect to see message reactions on your device anytime soon.

Would you use message reactions if WhatsApp provided them? Let us know by voting in the poll above.