WhatsApp Emoji Reactions to support entire Emoji Keyboard

WhatsApp Emoji Reactions to support entire Emoji Keyboard

Ahead of World Emoji Day this coming Sunday (July 17), the Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced that WhatsApp will be updating its emoji reactions feature for both iOS and Android devices. This new update will allow users to react to messages with any emoji included within their emoji keyboards.

This update is now rolling out across select global regions and is expected to reach all of WhatsApp's global userbase in the coming weeks and months.

Once they've downloaded the update, a WhatsApp user can press and holds on a message within WhatsApp to make the reaction menu appear as before - but now it will feature a "+" option which allows users to dive into the 3,600+ currently available emojis, including all skin tone modifier options.

WhatsApp's reactions feature was originally launched with just five different emoji options:

  1. 👍 Thumbs Up
  2. ❤️ Red Heart
  3. 😂 Face with Tears of Joy
  4. 😮 Face with Open Mouth
  5. 🙏 Folded Hands
WhatsApp's original reaction option on an Apple device. Image Credit: The Indian Express

A limited set of reaction options is quite commonplace across different platforms, originating with the debut of Facebook's emoji-esque reaction feature back in 2016.

Today's expansion of the WhatsApp reaction feature mirrors a feature currently available for Instagram users in select regions, which allows any emoji from the emoji keyboard to be used as a reaction to a direct message on the platform.

Instagram's default reaction options, shown in Google's emoji design set. Image Credit: DMpro.app.

🔥 Hotly debated reactions

As part of the global rollout of their updated reactions feature, WhatsApp contacted us here at Emojipedia to provide them with some insights into how certain emoji reactions could be misinterpreted by the less emoji literate amongst us.

Here are the reaction-based we provided:

  • 🫠 Melting Face is a new and very popular emoji that’s often based in sarcasm. It can be used when you’re literally melting from the heat this summer (like the 🥵 Hot Face) or when showing a sign of embarrassment, shame, or even silliness - like the 🙃 Upside Down Face. However you choose to use 🫠 Melting Face, it’s bound to be a popular reaction this summer.
  • 🧢 Billed Cap: The phrase ‘cap’ or ‘capping’, and the accompanying emoji is often used when someone is lying or being untruthful. If someone reacts to a message with this expression, it likely means they don’t believe it.
  • 💀 Skull commonly expresses figurative death, but today it is very often used to react to a particularly funny message i.e. “dying from laughter”. While it may look dark at first glance, it’s being intentionally used as an alternative to the likes of 😂 Face with Tears of Joy and 🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing.
  • 😭 Loudly Crying Face and 🤮 Face Vomiting may look negative at first glance, but these melodramatic emojis can be used to express extreme positive reactions: 😭 Loudly Crying Face being overwhelmed by joy or hilarity, and 🤮 Face Vomiting being overwhelmed by excitement, shock, or awe.
  • 🥺 Pleading Face can be used in many ways as this emoji can indicate “puppy dog” eyes as if begging or pleading. It may also represent adoration or feeling touched by a loving gesture or message - reacting as an expression of thanks.
  • 👀 Eyes: This emoji is sometimes used to indicate some hidden meaning behind a message/content posted online, or ‘shifty eyes’ to convey suspicion or surprise.
  • ✨ Sparkles: While this emoji screams positivity and many use it to show support, love, and happiness,  it’s also used by others when showing sarcasm and irony or even when exaggerating a word, message, or emotion.
  • ✍️ Writing Hand: Taking notes is often used in a funny way to show you are listening closely to someone’s message or “taking notes” on someone's advice.

🥳 World Emoji Day

At the time of publication, World Emoji Day 2022 is only 6️⃣ days away! 📆🎉

For those unaware, World Emoji Day is the annual celebration of emoji use across the world. Created and hosted by Emojipedia, the event is in its ninth year and is celebrated on 📅 July 17 each year.

To keep up with what else we have in store in the leadup to July 17, you can read our list of celebratory events on the official World Emoji Day website, use the #WorldEmojiDay hashtag or follow the official accounts:

And to get involved, consider voting in the World Emoji Awards, currently tallying the Most 2022 Emoji to be announced on July 17!

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