WhatsApp is testing quick emoji reactions for status updates

A new feature being tested would make it a cinch to express your feelings about a friend’s status message on WhatsApp with one of the several emoji reactions.

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background
  • After recently introducing emoji reactions for individual messages in group chats, WhatsApp is now testing quick emoji reactions for status updates.
  • This lets you quickly send an emoji when viewing a status update on WhatsApp in a similar way to how you can react with emoji to an Instagram story.
  • The feature is currently live in the WhatsApp Desktop beta and should expand to WhatsApp for iOS and Android in a future update.

What are WhatsApp emoji reactions and how do they work?

WhatsApp recently introduced emoji reactions, allowing you to express thoughts about a chat with an emoticon without sending a message. Wouldn’t it be nice if they extended to status updates on WhatsApp? Well, that’s exactly what the Meta-owned service has launched for early testers via the WhatsApp beta, reports WABetaInfo.

The feature is currently available in the latest beta version of WhatsApp Desktop. There’s no telling for how long it’ll remain in testing until its’ ready for prime time.

Nothing is certain with these tests, meaning there’s also the possibility that WhatsApp may pull the feature in the case of negative feedback. We don’t believe this will happen, even more so considering that emoji reactions are a tremendously popular feature in social apps such as Instagram and Messenger. Keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be updating you when the feature becomes more widely available.

How to react with emoji to WhatsApp status updates

If you’ve ever reacted to an Instagram story, you’ll know how to send a quick emoji reaction to a status update on WhatsApp. If you already have this feature, you can try it out by starting to view friends’ status updates by hitting the “Status” tab in the app. For each story you view, you’ll spot several emoji characters lined up alongside the bottom. Simply tap one of the listed emoji to quickly react to a friend’s story on WhatsApp. Read: How to manage who sees your WhatsApp “last seen” status

The following eight standard emoji reactions are available:

  • Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes
  • Face with Tears of Joy
  • Face with Open Mouth
  • Crying Face
  • Folded Hands
  • Clapping Hands
  • Party Popper
  • Hundred Points

As WABetaInfo notes, your emoji reaction to a WhatsApp status is sent in the chat as a quick emoji message. The site speculates that WhatsApp might be planning to develop a proper user interface when receiving these reactions similar to the pull-up gesture when viewing an Instagram story to view all its reactions.

How WhatsApp could enhance quick reactions

Right now, it doesn’t seem like you can customize the default eight reactions, but that could change in the future as WhatsApp continues perfecting the feature. WhatsApp is also working on bringing more emoji choices for message reactions in the future by letting you pick a specific emoji character when reacting to a message.

There will be a new “+” button next to the standard eight emoji characters to let you pick any emoticon from the emoji keyboard to send as a reaction. WhatsApp is currently testing a bunch of other new features such as removing an expiration date from a disappearing message so that it stays in the chat, polls for group chats etc.