You can soon react to WhatsApp messages with emojis, but it’s broken right now

In the midst of Facebook renaming itself Meta, WhatsApp introduced a new way for users to avoid making small talk. Facebook-owned WhatsApp may now allow users to respond to messages with emojis, similar to Instagram and Facebook Messenger, as part of the company’s vision to unify the experience across all of its apps. The only stumbling block is that the feature is not yet fully functional.

Emoji reactions, first spotted by WABetaInfo in August, are now being rolled out to select WhatsApp users. The feature is now available as of WhatsApp’s 2.21.22.17 beta update and appears to be limited to the app’s Android version for the time being.

whatsapp emoji reactions

You can long press on a specific message bubble to choose from the six designated emojis and share reactions such as approval, love, humor, amazement, sadness, and gratitude, just like you can on other Facebook — err, Meta — apps. While you can choose an emoji, the registered reaction is not visible to the person you’re sending it to at the moment. In short, the feature is either partially or completely broken.

I have the most recent version of WhatsApp Beta on my phone and attempted to test this feature with my colleague, Prakhar. As you can see from the screenshots below, while I can select one of the six emojis, he cannot see the reactions.

As a result, we can either expect the company to fix this unfinished feature in future updates or to remove it until a finalized version is released.

If you still want to experiment with emoji reactions to WhatsApp messages, sign up for WhatsApp beta on the Google Play Store, wait a few minutes for a new version to become available, and then update the app.