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How to React to Messages on Instagram: A Complete Guide

How to React to Messages on Instagram? Instagram’s direct messaging feature allows users to communicate with their friends and followers through text and visuals. One exciting aspect of this feature is the ability to react to messages with emojis. However, some users might wonder why they can’t seem to use this feature. In this article, we’ll explore how to react to messages on Instagram, troubleshoot common issues, and customize your emoji reactions.

Understanding Instagram’s Direct Reactions Feature

Instagram’s Direct Reactions feature allows users to express their emotions and communicate more dynamically by reacting to direct messages with emojis. This makes conversations on the platform more engaging and fun. To use Instagram Direct Reactions, simply tap and hold a message, then select your desired emoji from the pop-up list. The selected emoji will appear as a reaction to the message, notifying the recipient.

Common Reasons for Being Unable to React to Messages on Instagram

  • Outdated App: Ensure you have the latest version of the Instagram app installed to access emoji reactions.
  • Messaging Not Updated: Keep your Instagram Messaging updated to access this feature.
  • Poor Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is essential for using emoji reactions.
  • Privacy Settings: Check that the user you’re trying to react to hasn’t restricted or blocked you.
  • Using Instagram Lite: Instagram Lite has limited functionality, including the inability to use emoji reactions.

How to Fix Instagram Not Being Able to React to Messages

  • Update the App: Go to the App Store or Play Store and update the Instagram app to its latest version.
  • Update Instagram Messaging: In your Instagram profile, navigate to Settings and select Update Messaging.
  • Check Your Privacy Settings: Ensure the user you want to react to hasn’t been blocked or restricted.
  • Clear Cache: On Android, clear the cache in your device’s settings to potentially resolve issues.
  • Restart or Reinstall the App: Try closing and reopening the app or uninstalling and reinstalling it.
  • Check Your Internet Connection: A stable Wi-Fi or mobile data connection is essential for using direct reactions.

Read More: How to Fix Instagram Videos Not Playing: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to React to Messages on Instagram

To react to messages on Instagram, follow these steps:

Using the Mobile App:

  • Tap the paper airplane icon to access your Direct Messages when the Instagram app is open.
  • Select the conversation you want to react to.
  • To respond, tap and hold the message.
  • Choose your desired emoji from the list.

Using the Web:

  • In your web browser, go to and log in.
  • Click the icon of the paper airplane in the upper right corner.
  • Select the conversation you want to react to.
  • Hover over the message to reveal the smiley face icon.
  • Choose your desired emoji from the list.

Additional Tips and Customization

  • You can customize your default emoji reactions by tapping the ‘+’ icon and selecting your preferred emoji.
  • Rearrange the order of emoji reactions by long-pressing on them.
  • Remove emoji reactions by tapping the reaction you want to undo.


Reacting to messages on Instagram with emoji reactions adds a personal touch to your conversations. Verify that both your internet connection and your app are up to date. With these tips and tricks, you can enhance your messaging experience and communicate with friends and followers more engagingly.

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