We’ve been tracking the test version updates of the WhatsApp message reaction feature for a while now. At first, it looked like WhatsApp was going to extend the selection of emojis you could use to react directly to a message. Then, however, it changed to a plus button that would open up the full emoji menu for message reactions. This move has been confirmed and it has now been officially announced as available.
A couple of WhatsApp big hitters have announced that the new message reaction update, which gives you access to the full emoji keyboard for reactions is rolling out now.
The first of these is none other than Mark Zuckerberg who posted to Facebook just before 6 am Eastern Time, “We’re rolling out the ability to use any emoji as a reaction on WhatsApp.”
Then, not long after that, Will Cathcart, who is head of WhatsApp at Meta, tweeted out to his followers, “Reactions on WhatsApp are now even better. We’ve added support for you to use any emoji you want (in any skin tone) as a reaction.”
These two messages confirm what we have been reporting over the last few weeks. It also marks an impressive timeline for the extension of the message reactions feature as message reactions were only introduced a couple of months ago.
The introduction of skin tones is a big move for the feature, bringing in a more inclusive way of reacting to messages from friends and family. You should note that WhatsApp will automatically remember the skin tone you last used when using emojis normally. This means that if you want to change the skin tone of your message reactions you will need to do it by opening up the regular emoji menu for typing in chats and do it there.
One thing to note is that these messages from the WhatsApp bigwigs do not mean that the feature will be available on your version of the app right now. It just means that they are rolling it out. With billions of users around the world you can expect it to take a while to reach everybody, so you just need to be patient as it is on the way.
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