WhatsApp may be getting a simplified “Like” button for status update reactions

WhatsApp may be getting a simplified “Like” button for status update reactions

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Right now, when you see a WhatsApp status update that you want to interact with, you can either write out a reply or swipe up to pick from a small range of emojis. Instagram does this differently, with a simple “Like” button doing the trick and sending a heart emoji reaction. However, in the latest beta version of WhatsApp, a shift to a more Instagram-like way to react to status updates is brewing.

Spotted by AssembleDebug from TheSPAndroid in WhatsApp Android beta 2.24.8.6, and activated by tinkering with the code, is the ability for WhatsApp users to quickly react to others’ post with a dedicated “Like” button. In its current form, the feature doesn’t appear to be ready to roll out anytime soon, since it continually crashes the app, but from the screenshot below the UI looks pretty polished.

Image Credit: AssembleDebug

This is yet another Instagram feature that Meta seems determined to roll out to another one of its family of products. WhatsApp in particular has been getting a lot of social-like features lately, either in production, beta, or simply with hints spotted in the code. Features like status updates, channels, and even communities feel like they could have been ripped right out of Instagram, and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

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This Instagram-ization of WhatsApp has its benefits and drawbacks. This feature in particular could be helpful, especially for quick reactions to the constant stream of statuses and shared media. However, it also definitely blurs the line between the two social apps, and it makes you wonder if Meta is trying to squash any differences between them. It’s two different audiences, and maybe the intent is to have feature-parity on both apps in order to minimize any friction when switching from one to the other.

Regardless of what the end goal is here, we will have to wait and see how the users react once the feature officially arrives. Will the new heart button be used often? Or will those that have been using WhatsApp for years stick to what they have already been doing? — simply replying with an emoji or an “LOL” when they like something.



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