WhatsApp has been spotted working on message reactions to let users express their emotions in response to the messages they receive on the app. This could be similar to how reactions are available on platforms including iMessage, Instagram, and Twitter. Message reactions on WhatsApp may be a new step by the Facebook-owned company to enhance the communication experience on its platform. WhatsApp has so far enabled its users to express their emotions in a chat thread by using stickers, GIFs, and emojis.
As per a report by WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is at present testing message reactions internally. This means that regular users and even beta testers will not be able to experience the feature at this moment.
However, WABetaInfo has shared a screenshot that suggests a message would appear 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 have received on a particular message.
WABetaInfo reports that the message suggesting incompatibility with older WhatsApp versions could be the first step towards enabling reactions on the platform.
The screenshot shared online is from a WhatsApp for Android beta release. However, WABetaInfo says that message reactions would not just be limited to Android but 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. Similarly, Facebook’s Instagram and Messenger apps also enable their consumers with message reactions. WhatsApp is, therefore, seemingly trying to imitate that experience by enabling reactions on its platform.
In 2018, WhatsApp brought stickers to its platform to let users express their emotions using different sticker packs. It enhanced that experience by bringing animated stickers last year.
Alongside stickers, WhatsApp has GIFs and emojis on the platform to help users express emotions in chats.