How To React To Messages On Instagram

Too busy to type out a long-winded reply? Want to let your friend know you’ve received and read their message, but can’t think of anything worthwhile to say in reply? Maybe you’ve received one too many messages from an annoying cousin and you want them to get the message to stop, without actually having to say so?

Whatever your reason, ‘reacting’ to Instagram direct messages with an emoji is a pretty innovative way of shortening the time it can take to reply to messages, whilst making your point fairly succinctly, and ultimately letting the sender know that their message has been read, loud and clear.

To learn how to react to messages on Instagram, simply follow our tutorials below. For any additional information, or if you have any other queries at the end of this article, please direct your attention to our FAQs below.

Note: Newer versions of the Instagram app may no longer allow you to react to direct messages in this manner.

How to react to messages on Instagram (iOS/Android)

  1. Open up the Instagram app on your mobile or tablet device, and sign into your profile if prompted
  2. Next, tap on your Direct Messages via the paper aeroplane icon in the top-right of the page
  3. Scroll or search to locate the chat with the message in it you wish to ‘react’ to, and then tap on it
  4. Scroll in the chat to locate the specific message you wish to react to, and long press on it (tap and hold)
  5. You should now see a pop-up with a small range of emoji reactions to choose from (typically the most common ones, such as crying face, laughing, smiling, angry, thumbs up, thumbs down, etc.)
    1. Tip: to access even more reactions, tap the (+) plus sign to the right of these emojis
    2. Tip: alternatively, to simply ‘like’ the message (another version of reaction), just double-tap it, as you would on a feed post you liked – this will attach a little heart to the message, which the original sender will now can see
  6. To ‘react’ to the message, simply tap on one of these emojis
  7. You have successfully reacted to a message on Instagram and now both you and the original sender can see the emoji you’ve reacted with attached to the chosen message

And there you have it! It’s a pretty simple process, and even if it’s not available to you (depending on the current version of your Instagram app), you can still react to messages by ‘liking’ them with that old faithful, then double-tap.

If you’d like any more information, or if you still have unanswered questions, please see our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to ‘react’ to messages on Instagram?

Let’s face it, language is evolving at a pretty incredible rate now that we’ve firmly transitioned into the 21st century, and have adopted the emoji as part of our digital communications culture. As such, it’s become quite normal to use emojis in place of alphabetical speech and writing. Whether it’s using a laughing emoji to show that you’ve found something funny, a crying emoji to identify something as sad, or an angry emoji to express your frustration (whether at someone, or in support of them).

What’s more, the world seems to move at a faster and faster pace each year. And with the number of messages any average person in the digital age can receive on a daily basis, it can be pretty stressful and anxiety-inducing trying to respond to them all in kind. 

Thankfully, not all messages require a thought-out, well-worded response. In fact, sometimes all that’s needed is a little recognition. Something which says “I read this and I agree”, or “That’s funny!”. Instagram has now made it possible to ‘react’ to direct messages you are sent by another user, responding with an emoji instead of text. It’s super easy to do and can help you reply to lots of messages in a much shorter time frame, or even to add to a text-based response with an emotive icon.

How many ways can I react to messages on Instagram?

Almost as many ways as you want! When you long-press on a message to react to it, you’ll first see about five or six suggested emojis (usually the most common ones, such as laughing, crying, angry, happy, thumbs up, thumbs down). However, by tapping the (+) plus sign to the right of the suggested emojis, you’ll pull up the full range of ‘reactions’ available to you. Scroll through and find the perfect one to encapsulate your genuine feeling toward the message you’ve just received.

What does the recipient see when I react to messages on Instagram?

When you ‘react’ to a direct message on Instagram, the recipient will get a message notification just like they would be you to send any message (text-based or otherwise). When they open their chat with you, they will see the ‘reaction’ emoji attached to the message they sent you, indicating that not only has it been read, but that you, the intended recipient, are saying something about that message with an emoji.

Can I undo a reaction to a message I was sent on Instagram?

Unfortunately not. It may be possible to react twice to a message by repeating the process outlined above, either replacing the original emoji or adding an additional one to it, however, you cannot, unfortunately, remove a ‘reaction’ once you’ve ‘reacted’.