What you need to know
- WhatsApp is making emoji reactions to Channel updates available to more beta testers.
- Channel administrators and followers will be able to see the number and type of reactions given to a specific update.
- The new option is rolling out as part of version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp beta for Android, which is now available on the Google Play Store.
WhatsApp Channels are one-way communication tools, which means that admins can send updates without having to worry about users responding. But WhatsApp is working on a way to let followers react to updates with emojis, and it is currently being rolled out to more beta testers.
As spotted by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is giving a broader set of beta users the option to use emojis to show their appreciation, laughter, shock, or sadness to Channel updates without having to type a single word. It's available in beta version 188.8.131.52 of WhatsApp on Android, which is live now on the Google Play Store.
This means the new capability is currently in development. When it hits the stable release, you'll be able to react to a Channel update by hovering over it and then tapping the emoji you want to use. Of course, you'll also be able to change or remove your reaction at any time, just like with your favorite messaging apps.
The feature was previously spotted on earlier beta versions of the app, but it was only limited to a few users. WhatsApp notes on its support page that non-followers viewing a channel will be able to respond with emojis as well. Users can also see how many people have reacted to an update by tapping the emojis at the bottom.
Channel administrators have control over which types of emoji are available to members. The options include a thumbs up, a heart, a laughing face, a shocked face, a crying face, and two hands together in thanks or prayer. On the other hand, channel owners can disable emoji reactions to updates.
This is a great way to interact with channels and let the admins know how you feel about their content. If you're a beta tester, keep an eye out for this feature.
However, only a few users will be able to access the new experience because WhatsApp Channels are currently only available in a few countries, including Colombia, Egypt, Chile, Malaysia, Morocco, Ukraine, Kenya, and Peru.
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.