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WhatsApp users can finally react to messages with any emoji they like

WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X
WhatsApp message thread on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is now allowing everyone to use any emoji when reacting to messages.
  • Previously, only some emojis were available as options for reactions.
  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the new feature is rolling out now.

WhatsApp is now rolling out an improvement to the way people can react to messages, with all emojis now available. Previously, only a handful of emojis was offered as possible reactions across to WhatsApp messages.

The news comes via Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg who posted to Facebook with an update that confirms that any emoji can now be used for the first time. "We're rolling out the ability to use any emoji as a reaction on WhatsApp," Zuckerberg said via the update.

Message reactions allow people to quickly and easily respond to a message using nothing more than an emoji. Emojis can be used to convey a variety of responses without the need for words, but the limited number of available emojis did make it difficult to choose the correct one at times. By opening the feature up, people can now use their favorite emoji no matter which one that happens to be.

WhatsApp has long been one of the best iPhone apps for people who need to send and receive messages with people who might not be using Apple hardware, so don't have access to iMessage.

If you're already using WhatsApp it doesn't sound like you'll need to update to a new version of the app via the App Store in order to take advantage of these improvements. However, if you don't yet have the app installed you can nab it from the App Store (opens in new tab) for free right now.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.