Cancel Preloader

Confused by iMessage Reactions on Your iPhone? Use Emoji Instead

 Confused by iMessage Reactions on Your iPhone? Use Emoji Instead


Apple introduced iMessage reactions, called Tapback, with iOS 10 in 2016. The feature lets you react to a message with a heart, thumbs up or down, a “Haha,” exclamation points or a question mark. However, some people might be confused or irritated when they see someone react to their message.

CNET Tech Tips logo CNET Tech Tips logo

Let’s say you’re texting someone you have a crush on, and you react to their last message with a thumbs-up. You might simply be saying, “Sounds good!” but they might read your reaction as, “This conversation is over. Goodbye.” Congratulations, you played yourself, and now your crush thinks you hate them. But using emoji gives you more avenues to quickly tell the other person what you really mean in a more direct way.

Here’s how to use an emoji to react to specific messages on your iPhone.

Read more: How to Decipher Each Emoji

How to react with emoji

1. In the appropriate iMessage conversation, tap the blank iMessage bar across the bottom of your screen like you’re going to type something.
2. Tap the emoji keyboard icon — the smiley icon — in the bottom left corner of your screen.
3. Long press on the emoji you want to use.
4. Drag the emoji to the message and release it. 

Now, instead of giving something a thumbs-up or an exclamation point reaction, you can give the raised hands emoji or the eyes emoji. You can use this feature on messages, pictures and gifs sent in conversations between you and another person, or in group messages. 

Since Apple released iOS 17.2 in December, you can also use this feature to combine emoji. To do this, you have to layer emoji on top of a sticker in iMessage. Here’s how to create your own emoji combos.

Layer emoji over stickers for fun combos

The mountain emoji with a person skiing down one side The mountain emoji with a person skiing down one side

Just a skier going down a mountain.

Screenshot by Zach McAuliffe/CNET

1. In the appropriate iMessage conversation, tap the plus sign (+) next to the blank iMessage bar across the bottom of your screen.
2. Tap Stickers.
3. Tap and send your chosen sticker.
4. Tap the blank iMessage bar again, then follow the above steps for using emoji reactions.

You can add as many emoji as you want to each sticker, so you could have fun and make small scenes if you wanted to. However, you can’t save these combined emoji so you’ll have to recreate them each time. Hopefully Apple will let people save them in the future.

For more on iOS, here are all the iPhone features included with iOS 17.4 and iOS 17.3. You can also check out our iOS 17 cheat sheet.

Watch this: What Google Gemini AI on the iPhone Could Look Like



Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *