How To React To Instagram Messages

Did you message an Instagram user only to find that they have added a reaction directly to that message itself? Like if you cracked a joke, did a “laugh” emoticon appear on your message? And did you try to do the same but couldn’t figure out how, which may have got you wondering, why can’t I react to an Instagram message?

The first thing that you may have done after that is to use Google. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to find a relevant guide either? Searching for the article on Instagram’s also proved futile? Don’t worry, because your search ends here! We will tell you exactly how to react to direct messages on Instagram in three easy steps.

How to Enable Emoji Reactions on Instagram?

You already know how to react to an Instagram DM, but you still can’t do it? That is because you probably haven’t enabled the reaction feature yet. So how to enable emoji reactions on Instagram, you ask? You really don’t have to do anything special to unlock the feature. Simply update your Insta app to the latest version!

Ideally, it should have been updated already since the feature was introduced way back in 2020 unless, of course, your phone wasn’t connected to the internet for two years. Once the update is complete, here’s how you can go about adding IG reactions to DMs.

  1. Open your Instagram app and head to the conversations section. The icon will be on the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Click on one of your recent chats.
  3. Double tap the other user’s most recent message to add a reaction. It’s that simple!

A point to note – double tapping only adds the default emoji to the message, which is the “heart” emoticon.

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How to React to Instagram Messages on a Computer?

You might have noticed that we said “double tap” the message, which means that the steps mentioned in the previous section were only for iOS and Android devices, like smartphones and tablets. If you prefer to use a computer to reply to your Instagram messages, then follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your Instagram account and click the “messages” icon right next to the “home” icon on the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Open a conversation where you have received a message from another user.
  3. Double-click that message to add the “heart” Instagram emoji to it.

Similar to the app double tap, double-clicking a message on the Instagram web also adds only the “heart” emoticon.

Why can’t I React to Instagram Messages?

Have you followed all the steps above but still cannot react to any Instagram messages? There may be a few reasons why that might be happening.

  • You may not be double-tapping or double-clicking quickly enough. If there is even one second of pause between the two taps or clicks, then the required reaction emoji won’t appear on the IG message. Instead, try double-tapping or clicking as fast as possible, with barely any interval between.
  • You may not be connected to the internet. If you are double-tapping or clicking the message properly and still cannot see the reaction, then it is quite likely that you aren’t connected to the internet. Since Instagram web or app can only be accessed with a good internet connection, the reaction won’t turn up on the message if you aren’t connected to WiFi or mobile internet.
  • You may not have updated the app. Updating the app to the latest version is a must to enable the reaction feature in the first place. Already updated the app but still can’t add Instagram emoji reactions? Check your Play Store or App Store for additional updates. There aren’t any? Then you may be using an old version of Android or iOS, and your phone doesn’t support the reaction feature.

How to Change a Reaction on Instagram?

Once you have troubleshot the app and finally enabled the reactions feature, you may eventually get bored of double-tapping the messages to add the same “heart” emoji over and over. Then, you may begin to wonder how to change a reaction on Instagram. Is it even possible to do that? Of course, it is! You can add different emoji reactions to IG messages without having to do anything too different. Here how.

  1. Open the Instagram app and head to the messages section by clicking the icon on the top right corner.
  2. Open any of your conversations.
  3. Instead of double tapping a message, simply press and hold it for a few seconds. A list of emojis will show up (around 4-5). Select your desired one if it’s present in the list.
  4. If it’s not present, then tap the “+” button at the end of the list, and select an emoji from the extended list that appears.

This list contains all the emoticons available on Instagram. You may simply pick one for now or even customize the initial pop-up list by selecting your favorite, most-used emojis for later use. 

Let us consider an example. An IG user sent you a really funny joke. You may simply double-tap the message to react with the “heart” emoji, but you may want to show the sender that you laughed. So you may ask how to laugh at a message on Instagram. Simply follow the steps mentioned above. Press the message, look for the “laugh” emoji, and tap on it to react!


To conclude, it isn’t too hard to add an Instagram reaction to a message on the app or the web interface. Either double-tap, double-click the message, or keep it pressed for a few seconds to add the desired emoji. And did you know that long pressing an IG message also shows several other options? You can reply to that particular message, report it, copy it, or forward it. Explore!

Mattie Schultz
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