WhatsApp has introduced one of its first major changes in the new year. The company is currently beta-testing notifications for message reactions, as per WABetaInfo, an independent online portal that shares news on WhatsApp updates.
The latest update appears in the newest beta (version 22.2.72) on iOS. A new “reactions notifications” option has appeared under WhatsApp’s notifications settings. Users can either enable or disable these reactions in their notifications. Since it is visible to iOS beta users, it could arrive to the main version sometime soon if it is met with positive reactions. However, users will not be able to react to messages yet, though that change could be made available sometime in the near future.
This is a follow-up to WhatsApp’s “message reaction” feature, which was seemingly in development in November 2021. This feature will permit users to react to a message using a certain set of emojis, rather than a text message. This is likely an attempt to catch up to Apple’s iMessage reactions, which were launched in late 2016.
At the moment, it is currently unknown when these changes would appear in the Android Beta version. Meanwhile, the latest Android beta update has introduced a voice note player feature that allows users to view the note in a user interface with a progress bar, as well as pause, resume or dismiss the note at their convenience. Considering that these changes were introduced in the iOS beta three months ago, it is possible that the message notifications update will reach beta Android users by April 2022.
WhatsApp made a string of major updates to its messaging service in 2021, including multidevice adaptability and end-to-end encryption for online backups. The Meta-owned messenger also began beta testing a new interface for voice calls and testing a new shortcut for quick replies on its Business version toward the end of December 2021.