All emojis will soon be available to use as a react in a future WhatsApp update

WhatsApp on iPhone
(Image credit: Pexels / Torsten Dettlaff)

WhatsApp continues to iterate on its updates, with the ability to react to messages expanding, letting you use any emoji thanks to a new ‘plus’ icon.

Reacting to emojis in WhatsApp has saved many users from replying to messages with, words. A simple crying or thumbs-up emoji can more easily cut the awkwardness in a conversation.

It’s something that’s appeared in other messaging apps, such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger, but WhatsApp will finally let you express how you really want to react to a friend or family member.

While WaBetaInfo doesn’t say when it could be arriving for everyone, it is available now for beta users on Android and iOS.

Analysis: lets see gifs and other react options

Reactions in WhatsApp

(Image credit: WABetaInfo)

Meta is constantly expanding on WhatsApp's features - from better voice notes to being able to leave a group quietly without any drama.

However, it can go further for reactions. Other apps such as iMessage and WeChat lets you use stickers as reacts instead of emojis, but WhatsApp can go one step further with GIFS.

There are plenty of sites these days where you can make your own GIFS - Frinkiac springs to mind that lets you use a classic Simpsons reference as a reply. But let’s see the ability to use these as reacts as well.

WhatsApp is currently in a battle in the messaging space with Apple, Telegram, WeChat and its own parent company’s apps such as Facebook and Instagram. But if it keeps up with these new features, there’s less chance of its users moving on to these other apps in the near future.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.