How to use emoji reactions on Telegram

You should take advantage of Telegram emoji reactions to spice up your encrypted conversations with a red heart, fire, party popper, or other expressive emoticons.

Three iPhone screenshots showing how to apply Telegram message reactions with emoticons
You can now attach emoji reactions to your chats on Telegram with expressive emoticons

Emoticons as expressive reactions in instant messaging

It took a while, but Telegram has finally picked up emoji reactions, in addition to in-app translation for chats and other new features in the latest update to the messaging client on iOS and Android.

Other messaging clients like iMessage, Messenger, Discord, Slack, and many others have long provided emoji reactions, so Telegram is playing catch-up to rivals here. That being said, emoji reactions were one of the most-requested features, so the Telegram team finally decided to implement this capability in the version 8.4 update.

You can use the following emoji reactions in the free version of Telegram:

  • Thumbs up 👍
  • Thumbs down 👎
  • Red heart ❤️
  • Fire 🔥
  • Smiling face with 3 hearts 🥰
  • Clap 👏
  • Big smile 😁
  • Thinking face 🤔
  • Exploding head 🤯
  • Face screaming in fear 😱
  • Abusing face 🤬
  • Crying face 😢
  • Party popper 🎉
  • Star-struck 🤩
  • Vomiting face 🤮
  • Poop emoji 💩
  • Praying/Namaste emoji 🙏

If you upgrade to Telegram Premium, you unlock additional emoji reactions.

How to use emoji reactions on Telegram

Simply double-tap a message to send a quick reaction with the default emoji (you can customize this in settings) or touch and hold a message for more reactions. Here’s how:

  1. Open a one-on-one or group chat on Telegram for iPhone.
  2. Double-tap a chat bubble to add the default thumbs-up reaction.
  3. Alternatively, tap and hold a chat bubble to access additional emoji reactions.

Each reaction appears with its own unique animation.

Reactions are turned on by default for one-on-one chats.

Changing the default reaction on Telegram

Double-tapping attaches a thumbs-up reaction to the selected message without sending any messages, but you can set this gesture to another emoji in the Telegram settings. Here’s how:

  1. Tap the Settings tab in Telegram for iPhone.
  2. Hit the option labeled Stickers and Emoji.
  3. Select Quick Reaction.
  4. Choose one of the listed emoji to assign to the double-tap gesture.
A screenshot of Telegram for iPhone showing how to turn available emoji reactions on or off for a group chat

How to use reactions in group chats

In group chats and channels, group administrators decide whether to turn reactions on or off, as well as choose which reaction emoji are available in the chat.

  1. Open your group or channel in Telegram for iPhone
  2. Access your group or channel’s Info Page
  3. Lastly, navigate to Edit → Reactions

From there, you can enable or disable reactions for that particular group or channel, as well as cherry-pick the reaction emoji that will be available in the selected chat.

A screenshot of Telegram for iPhone showing assigning the default emoji reaction to the double-tap gesture

According to Telegram, this enables many different ways to collect feedback, from simple likes to upvote and downvote systems and beyond.

What else is new in Telegram 8.4?

Reacting to chats with expressive emoticons isn’t the only new feature in Telegram.

As highlighted in a post on the Telegram blog, the app now offers translation for chats in foreign languages. With in-app translation, you can translate any message into another language, including messages received in public groups, with a touch of a button. This feature requires iOS 15 or later on iPhone. On Android, in-app translation works on any device capable of running Telegram.

Other nice-to-haves include QR codes for profiles, revamped contextual menus in Telegram for macOS, bigger and more intricate emoji animations in one-on-one chats, and a new Spoiler formatting that works like the Invisible Ink feature in Apple’s Messages.

Be sure to read the post for details on everything new in Telegram 8.4.

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