How the new WhatsApp emoji reactions work

You can now quickly share your opinion with one of six emojis instead of typing a message

WhatsApp has introduced a feature allowing people to react with emojis to messages. PA Wire
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You can now react to WhatsApp messages with a simple emoji, rather than having to type a response.

It was last month when the Meta-owned social media platform announced it would introduce the feature, alongside its Communities initiative, which allows people to bring together separate groups under one umbrella, so they can receive updates sent to the community and organise smaller discussion groups.

"Emoji reactions are coming to WhatsApp so people can quickly share their opinion without flooding chats with new messages," read the blog post announcing the move.

And now they're here. But how do they work?

It's pretty simple and works in the same way as other platforms, such as Instagram and Messenger. Emoji reactions let you react quickly to messages by using a face with tears of joy, for example.

Right now there are six emoji options: thumbs up, heart, face with tears of joy, face with mouth open, crying face and prayer hands.

All emojis and skin tones will come, said head of WhatsApp Will Cathcart on Twitter.

To make it work on mobile, simply long-press on a message and pick the relevant emoji from the message bubble.

To see how many people have reacted to a message and what emoji they've used, tap on the emojis directly that will show in the message bubble.

For those using the app on desktop, simply hover your cursor over the message and click on the emoji icon that will appear on the righthand side of it.

If you change your mind about a thumbs up and want to do a crying face instead, for example, simply repeat the process and choose the new emoji.

To remove it altogether, long-press the message or tap the reaction and then press the emoji you reacted with again.

It's worth noting that you can only add one reaction per message and reactions to disappearing messages will vanish when the message does.

It's not possible to hide reactions or reaction counts, either, and recipients might see your reaction before you remove it or if your removal didn't work — and you won't be notified if removing the reaction wasn't successful.

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Updated: May 11, 2022, 4:56 AM