The secret behind WhatsApp reactions: they are not limited to just six Emojis

the secret behind whatsapp reactions they are not limited to.jpg
the secret behind whatsapp reactions they are not limited to.jpg

There is a function that is not yet available in stable WhatsApp and that has been raising expectations for months: reactions to messages. These start to appear for some beta accounts, always with a limit: only six Emojis can be chosen as a reaction. The surprising thing is that WhatsApp is prepared to react with any emoticon.


WhatsApp is enabled to react with any Emoji

Whatsapp reactions

WhatsApp conversation with reactions that the application does not allow

That messaging applications enable a limited number of emoticons with which to react makes perfect sense since they can focus the animations, notifications and interface to a very specific number of cases; which simplifies the task of development and maintenance, it also reduces future errors. For example, Telegram only allows you to react with 16 Emojis, WhatsApp with six. At first.

Testing with the web application and the Beeper client, we verified that WhatsApp does not really limit the reactions to the six Emojis mentioned: the system is prepared so that we can react to messages with any emoticon from the list. Even with the latest ones – notifications on the phone are received with any Emoji, the emoticon is perfectly rendered in the chat, and also appears in the drop-down list. WaBetaInfo had already anticipated it as a future addition.

We have been very surprised that WhatsApp has limited the selection in the applications when their servers are prepared to manage any Emoji in reaction. In fact, these servers work in a similar way to Facebook Messenger: it has an initial selection of emoticons that can be customized by adding “customs” from the reaction selector itself. as detailed WaBetaInfoand since WhatsApp encrypts reactions end-to-end, the platform cannot know which Emoji the user chooses as a reaction.

Although we have managed to replicate the operation on both Android and iPhone, we have not found a way to

Whatsapp reactions 4

Counter of reactions to a specific message

We will see if the company finally opens the reactions to any Emoji or ends up limiting the code so that its servers only support the selection of six chosen ones: I like it, I love it, It amuses me, It amazes me, It saddens me and I pray/plea.