How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji (2022)

After teasing and testing the feature with beta users for a few months, WhatsApp has now started rolling out the ability to react to messages in a chat with an emoji. Yes, you heard right. Much like Instagram and Messenger, you can now choose not to type a reply, but instead react to messages with an emoji to express what you think. The emoji reactions feature is now reaching all iOS, Android and WhatApp desktop/web users, so let’s learn how to use this feature. Here’s how you can react to a message with an emoji on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp Emoji Message Reactions Guide (2022)

What are reactions to Emoji messages?

As the name suggests, the emoji reactions feature lets you react quickly to specific messages with emojis and share your opinion without flooding the chat with new messages. This means you can simply use the face with tears of joy emoji to react to a funny message or a thumbs up to acknowledge a message sent in a group chat.

It’s a simple feature that’s been around for years in apps like Instagram and Messenger. It finally reached WhatsApp to bring parity between messaging apps owned by Meta (formerly Facebook). There’s no steep learning curve for this feature, so let’s learn how to use it.

Available emoji reactions and meanings

WhatsApp currently offers six emojis that you can use to react to messages in a conversation, and they are:

  • Thumbs up (👍)
  • Heart (❤️)
  • Face with tears of joy (😂)
  • Open mouth face (😮)
  • Crying face (😢)
  • Person with folded hands (🙏)

The messaging app aims to add support for all emojis and skin tones, much like Instagram, WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart mentions in a official tweet. If you want to learn more about emojis and what they mean, head over to our linked guide. Moreover, you can also read here the meaning of different emojis on Snapchat.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji (Android/iOS)

With the basics out of the way, it’s time for us to learn how to send emoji reactions in WhatsApp conversations. It works the same on Android and iOS devices. Here’s how to use the feature:

1. Open WhatsApp and head to a chat. Here, long press on the message you want to react to, and you will see the emoji reaction bar appear on your screen.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

2. Select the emoji you want to react with and it will show at the bottom of the message bubble. Here’s what the message reaction function looks like:

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

3. If you want to see how many people reacted to a WhatsApp message and what emojis they used, tap the emojis that show in the message bubble.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji (Web/Desktop)

The method of using emoji reactions on the web and desktop app for WhatsApp is a bit different, so let’s see how it works:

1. Open a conversation in WhatsApp on the web app. Then, hover over a message to see a new emoji icon appear next to it.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

2. Tap the emoji icon to react to a message with one of six available options.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

How to Change Your Emoji Reaction

WhatsApp also lets you easily change your emoji reaction to a message. We have described how you can change emoji reaction using mobile and web apps in this section.

1. On Android and iOS, you can long press the same message again to see the emoji reaction bar. Your existing reaction will be highlighted in grey. Now just select another emoji to change your reaction, and you’re done.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

To note: When you change the reaction emoji and the recipient has not yet opened the notification, the change is also reflected in the notification. h/t my colleague Uday for this insightful little info.

2. On the WhatsApp web and desktop apps, hover over the same message to see the emoji icon again. Click on the emoji and select your new reaction. Yeah, it’s as simple as that.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

How to Remove WhatsApp Emoji Reaction

Finally, you also have the option to remove your emoji reaction from messages on WhatsApp. It works the same on all platforms, be it Android, iOS or the web app. Here’s how to delete a reaction:

1. You can tap on your reaction emoji which is displayed at the bottom of the chat bubble. You will now see a popup with your reaction, and you can “Tap to delete” the same with ease. Your reaction to this message will disappear immediately.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

2. This is what the delete reaction option looks like in WhatsApp on the web and the Windows/macOS desktop app. After clicking on the reaction emoji on the chat bubble, you need to select the “Click to remove” option to expunge your reaction.

How to React to WhatsApp Messages with Emoji

To note: The emoji reactions feature is not available in the WhatsApp UWP Beta app on Windows devices at this time. It will probably be added in the next few days.

Try the new WhatsApp message reactions feature

So yeah, that’s about all you need to know about using emoji reactions on WhatsApp. Emojis are currently limited to the six options by default, but it will be worth everyone’s effort when the messaging app adds support for all emojis. Additionally, WhatsApp also announced the introduction of Communities to make it easier to manage groups, support up to 32 users in group voice calls, and more. Moreover, it is now possible to use WhatsApp on multiple devices without your phone being connected to the Internet.