WhatsApp has been identified by working on message reactions to allow users to express their emotions in response to the messages they receive in the app. This may be similar to how reactions are available across platforms including iMessage, Instagram and Twitter. Reactions to messages on WhatsApp may be a new step for the Facebook company to improve the communication experience on its platform. Until now, WhatsApp has allowed its users to express their emotions in a chat thread using stickers, GIFs and emojis.
According to a WhatsApp report, which features the WABetaInfo tracker, WhatsApp is currently testing reactions to messages internally. This means that regular users and even beta testers will not be able to try out the feature at this time.
However, WABetaInfo shared a screenshot that suggests a message would be displayed when a user is on an older version of WhatsApp that doesn’t support reactions. The user, in this case, would be asked to update the app to see the reactions they received to a specific message.
WABetaInfo reports that the message suggesting incompatibility with previous WhatsApp versions may be the first step in allowing reactions on the platform.
The screenshot shared online is from a beta version of WhatsApp for Android. However, WABetaInfo claims that reactions to messages would not only be limited to Android, but would also be available on WhatsApp for iPhone and Web/Desktop clients.
Platforms including Twitter and iMessage allow users to express their emotions by adding reactions to the messages they receive. Likewise, Facebook’s Instagram and Messenger apps also allow their consumers to react to messages. WhatsApp is therefore apparently trying to mimic this experience by allowing reactions on its platform.
In 2018, WhatsApp brought stickers to its platform to allow users to express their emotions using different sticker packs. This enhanced that experience by bringing in animated stickers last year.
In addition to stickers, WhatsApp has GIFs and emojis on the platform to help users express emotions in chats.