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How to React to Instagram Messages With Emojis

As of late 2020, Instagram announced an update to DMs (direct messages).

The update introduced a Messenger experience on the app.

This includes colorful messages, replies, and emoji reactions.

Emoji reactions allow you to use different emojis to react to messages.

Instead of the normal heart emoji, you use smiley faces, symbols, animals, and more.

You can also use selfie stickers—boomerang, emojis, and selfies.

In addition, you can turn on vanish mode—messages will automatically disappear after they are seen.

In this guide, you’ll learn why are Instagram emoji reactions not working and how to react to Instagram messages with emojis on Android and iOS.

Why are Instagram emoji reactions not working?

Instagram emoji reactions are not working because you haven’t updated messaging yet.

If you haven’t updated messaging, you won’t be able to react with different emojis.

As of late 2020, Instagram introduced the messenger update.

The messenger update allows you to react to Instagram messages with different emojis.

If you’ve updated messaging, all you have to do is to tap and hold a message, tap on the “+” icon, and select the emoji that you want to react with.

How to react to Instagram messages with emojis

To react to Instagram messages with emojis, you need to update messaging.

After you’ve updated messaging, simply tap and hold the message, tap on the “+” icon, and select the emoji that you want to react with!

Instagram will not automatically update messaging for you.

To update messaging, navigate to your Instagram profile, tap on the menu icon, tap on “Settings”, and tap on “Update Messaging”.

By updating messaging, you’ll get 11 new messaging features including the ability to react to DMs with custom emojis.

Other features include the vanish mode, chat colors, replies, and more.

Here’s how to react to Instagram messages with emojis:

1. Go to your Instagram profile and tap on the menu icon

Firstly, you need to navigate to your Instagram profile.

To do so, tap on your profile picture on the bottom navigation bar.

Now, you need to open the menu.

To do so, tap on the menu icon on the top navigation bar.

2. Tap on “Settings”

After you’ve tapped on the menu icon, the menu will open.

The menu contains multiple options.

This includes “Settings”, “Archive”, “Your activity”, and more.

To update messaging, you need to go to your settings.

Hence, you need to tap on “Settings” to go to your settings.

3. Select “Update Messaging”

After you’ve tapped on “Settings”, you’ll land on the settings page.

The settings page contains multiple options.

This includes “Update Messaging”, “Follow and invite friends”, “Notifications”, and more.

You’ll only see the “Update Messaging” option if you haven’t updated messaging yet.

To react to Instagram messages with emojis on Android/iOS, you need to update messaging first.

To do so, tap on “Update Messaging”.

4. Tap on “Update”

After you’ve tapped on “Update Messaging”, you’ll land on the “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” page.

The page contains information on what the update is about.

The update contains features like changing your chat color, reacting with any emoji, swiping to reply to messages, and more.

You don’t need to have the Facebook Messenger app for this.

Tap on “Update” to update the messaging feature on Instagram.

5. Tap and hold the message, then tap on “+”

How to React to Instagram Messages With Emojis

After you’ve updated the messaging feature on Instagram, you can now react to Instagram messages with emojis!

Firstly, navigate to the Instagram message that you want to react to.

Now, you need to tap and hold the message.

This will open a chat bubble containing 6 different emojis.

You can select one of the emojis to react to the message with it.

If you want to see the full list of emojis that you can react to the message with, tap on the “+” icon.

6. Select the emoji that you want to react with

Change the reaction emoji on Instagram DM

After you’ve tapped on the “+” icon, you’ll see a list of emojis that you can react to the message with.

Under “Your reactions”, you can customize the default emojis by tapping on “Customize”.

Now, tap a reaction, then choose an emoji to replace it.

You can also tap on “Reset” to reset your customization.

If you don’t want to customize your reactions, simply search for the emoji that you want to react to the message with and select it.

For example, if you want to react with the smiling face with the halo emoji, simply tap on it.

7. You’ve successfully reacted with an emoji

Different emoji reactions on Instagram

After you’ve tapped on the emoji, it will be located under the person’s message.

You’ve successfully reacted to the Instagram message with an emoji!

You can also change your reaction at any time if you want to.

To do so, tap and hold the message, then select the emoji that you want to change your reaction to!

Conclusion

Keep in mind that reacting to Instagram messages/DMs with a different/custom emoji can only be done if you’ve updated messaging.

A lot of Instagram users are unable to react to Instagram messages with emojis because they haven’t updated messaging.

It’s an easy update to miss because Instagram does not notify or remind you of it.

In addition, messaging will not be updated even if you’ve updated the Instagram app.

This is because updating the Instagram app does not come with the feature.

Hence, you’ll need to do it manually via your Instagram settings.

Further reading

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.