WhatApp message reactions detected in desktop beta, new status privacy shortcut in development

Deepak Gupta February 24, 2022
Updated 2022/02/24 at 10:33 AM

WhatsApp messaging reactions were seen in development in the desktop beta, suggesting that the Meta-owned instant messaging service could release the feature in a future update. Message reactions allow users to quickly assign an emoji “reaction” to a message and are supported on many popular massage apps including Facebook and Instagram, also owned by Meta. Meanwhile, WhatsApp is also working on a new shortcut to edit recipients when posting a new status update, allowing users to specify the audience for each update. There is no information on when these features will be available to all users.

According to a beta screenshot of WhatsApp Desktop shared by the WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the platform appears to be working on adding message reactions support to the desktop app. The feature is not currently available to beta testers as it is still in development, according to the tracker. First identified in August 2021, messaging reactions for WhatsApp have been in development on Android and iOS for months and glimpses of the feature have also surfaced online.

The screenshot of the message reactions feature shows the message reaction button in the form of an emoji icon, next to a message in a chat in WhatsApp Desktop beta. According to WABetaInfo, this button will only appear when hovering over a message. Clicking the reaction button will display a row of six emojis, which can be selected to react to the message. Thumbs up, red heart, face with tears of joy, shocked face, crying face and folded hands emoji are shown in the screenshot. Meanwhile, Instagram and rival messaging service Signal both offer the ability to react with any emoji.

WhatsApp may allow users to select audience for status updates in any chat
Photo credit: WABetaInfo

In December, WhatsApp was identified working on updating the caption bar, allowing users to select different recipients for an image or video while in a WhatsApp chat or share as a status update. The messaging service is now working on improving the ability to share an image as a status with a new privacy shortcut, according to a report by the resource tracker.

Users who click on an image and tap the Status button from within a WhatsApp chat will also be able to see and select the audience for that Status before posting it. These include three options: My contacts, My contacts exceptand Share only with…according to a screenshot shared by the Asset Tracker.

While the message reactions feature for the desktop app and the new privacy shortcut for status updates were seen in beta versions of WhatsApp Desktop and WhatsApp for Android respectively, these features are currently in development. This means that users will not be able to access them until they are activated first in the beta versions of the app, and later in the stable channel. WhatsApp is yet to announce details of both features.


Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.