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WhatsApp emoji reactions are finally arriving for some users

WhatsApp for Android dark mode
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp has been working on iMessage-like reactions for some time.
  • The feature appears to be rolling out now for beta users.
  • WhatsApp reactions include Like, Love, Laugh, Suprised, Sad, and Thanks.

WhatsApp may be one of the best messaging apps on Android, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. Meta has been hard at work lately, expanding on WhatsApp's features, and the app is finally rolling out a highly-requested addition that should add more interaction and expression in your threads: message reactions.

The feature was first spotted in August 2021, but it was unclear when it would be available to users. WABetaInfo indicated that only beta users would get to use it initially when it arrives, which seems to be the case now. With WhatsApp beta version 2.22.8.3 on the best Android phones, some users can now long-press a message to gain access to six different emoji reactions, including a thumbs up, heart, laugh emoji, surprised face, sad face, and folded hands as a gesture of thanks.

WhatsApp emoji reactions in beta

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

The feature comes just after WhatsApp introduced a setting for the iOS app and desktop client to manage reactions, letting users decide if they want to turn off reaction notifications. It seems that was in preparation for the feature's imminent arrival, which appears to be underway to some extent, at least for some Android beta users.

It's not too surprising that emoji reactions would arrive on WhatsApp. Meta's own Messenger and Instagram apps allow them in direct messages, and to a greater extent as users are able to use any emoji in their repertoire. Other messaging apps such as iMessage and even Google Messages feature emoji reactions, making WhatsApp the odd one out among some of its competition.

With any luck, Meta will soon extend the feature and make it available to all WhatsApp users outside of the beta.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.