WhatsApp continues to tweak its app and services to help it stay ahead of the competition and now it’s rolled out a new feature to some beta testers — the ability to respond to messages via an emoji-based reaction.
The company also continues to work towards making group polls available, too.
In terms of message reactions, WABeta Info notes that some people who are testing the latest WhatsApp beta via TestFlight have noticed that they can now take advantage of them.
The feature allows people to react to a message without cluttering the main chat, putting an emoji beside the message they have reacted to. It’s a feature other messaging apps and services already have and it works in much the same way, too.
As you can see in this screenshot, it is very easy to check if the ability to react to messages is enabled for your WhatsApp account: just tap and hold a chat bubble to see if the reaction tray is available. This is the first version of message reactions that includes 6 emojis: Like, Love, Laugh, Surprised, Sad, and Thanks.
WhatsApp also continues to work on its group poll feature, something that will come in the future. The feature will allow people to add a poll to a group chat and then have people choose an option. It’ll be useful for things like office meetings, dinner dates, and more. Just like other WhatsApp messages, polls will be encrypted to prevent snooping.
As you can see in this screenshot, we have finally discovered the interface when sending a poll. If you haven’t voted a poll yet, you can choose the option to vote. When you press “Vote”, your selected option will be shared with other participants of the group. Note that group polls, their options, and your answer, are end-to-end encrypted, so nobody can see the content of the poll, not even WhatsApp.
Neither of these features are available to the public just yet, but expect that to change in the future. Unfortunately, no firm timescale has been given for their go-live as yet.
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