How to Use Message Reactions on WhatsApp

Tyler Nelson

black iphone 7 plus on persons hand

The message reactions feature on WhatsApp lets users share their feelings about a message without typing a response. It’s available on Android, iOS, and desktop. Whether you want to show love, laughter, or surprise, these reactions let you interact with friends and family in a fun way. WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app owned by Meta, is always updating its features. One of the latest features is message reactions, which let users express their emotions quickly using an emoji.

Similar to reactions on Facebook Messenger and Instagram, message reactions on WhatsApp are a convenient way to communicate without words. This feature extends conversations within the app, allowing users to convey acknowledgment or sentiment efficiently without a written reply. As communication on social media apps evolves, WhatsApp reactions reflect a growing trend where brevity and emotion are valued in digital expressions.

Express Yourself with Emoji Reactions on WhatsApp

Reacting to Messages

Long-press the message you want to react to. A pop-up will show six emoji options: Like, Love, Laugh, Surprised, Sad, and Thanks. Tap the emoji you want to use. Your chosen emoji will appear below the message.

Changing Your Reaction

To change your reaction, long-press the message again and select a new emoji.

Removing Your Reaction

Tap your reaction emoji below the message. Then, tap “Tap to remove” to remove your reaction.

Viewing Message Reactions

Tap the emoji icon beneath the message to see who reacted and which emojis they used.

Using Reactions on Different Devices


Long-press the message. Select an emoji from the pop-up.

WhatsApp Web/Desktop

Hover over the message, then click the emoji icon that appears. Choose your reaction.


You can only react with one emoji per message. Currently, you cannot react to status updates or disappearing messages.

DeviceHow to React
Android/iOSLong-press message > Select emoji
WhatsApp Web/DesktopHover over message > Click emoji icon > Select emoji

Key Takeaways

  • WhatsApp enhances user interaction with the addition of message reactions.
  • These reactions facilitate quick, non-verbal communication in chats.
  • The feature aligns with trends in other Meta messaging services for efficient conversation flow.

Reactions in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has introduced a way for users to express their feelings quickly with message reactions. This feature allows for a range of emojis to communicate emotions without typing a full response.

Understanding Message Reactions

Message reactions in WhatsApp let users respond to messages with specific emojis. These reactions are a quick form of communication. Popular options include thumbs up, heart, crying face, and laughing face. All users can access them for expressing emotions.

Using Reactions on Different Platforms

WhatsApp supports message reactions on Android, iOS, iPhone, and desktop devices. Users can press and hold a message to react on mobile devices or hover over a message to react using a desktop. They reflect changes across all devices.

Interacting with Reactions

Interacting with message reactions is simple. To add one, users touch and hold the message mobile or point and click on desktop. They can select from the default emojis. Users can change their reaction by selecting a new emoji from the pop-up.

Managing Reaction Notifications

Reaction notifications alert users when someone reacts to their messages. In the settings menu, users can find a toggle to turn off these notifications. This is useful for managing disturbances from frequent reactions.

Troubleshooting Reactions

Sometimes users may face issues with reactions not working. This might be due to a server-side issue or requires a software update. Users can check FAQs or reach out to WhatsApp support for specific issues.

The Future of Reactions on WhatsApp

The reactions feature may expand to include more emojis, stickers, or gifs. Updates by the developers and feedback from users like changes and improvements to the platform, maintaining its relevance against competitors.

Comparative Analysis with Other Platforms

Compared to other messaging apps like Messenger or Google Messages, WhatsApp message reactions share similar features. These include the basic emojis and the concept of reacting to messages with a single tap or click. WhatsApp continues to update its reactions feature.