Instagram reactions allow you to express your emotions about a message/story using emojis. Here, you learn what the feature does and how you can enable it on your account. 

What Are Instagram Reactions

IG reactions are a set of 6-8 emojis that appear when you want to react to a user’s direct message or Story. There are two types of reactions in the Instagram app, one works for DMs, and the other shows up on the stories. 

DM reactions: By tapping and holding a message in your DM, you’ll see 6 different emojis. Tapping each allows you to react with the same emoji. (The emoji will appear on the right bottom of the message). 

Story quick reactions: When you view a user’s Story, you’ll also see a set of 8 emojis above the reply section. By tapping any of them, you’ll react to the content you’re watching using the same emoji.

How to Enable Instagram Reactions 

The emoji reactions for the Stories require no activation, and they’re available for all users. However, the Instagram message reactions appear if you sync your Messenger and IG accounts. Here’s how to do so.  

Step#1: Update the app

The emoji reactions are available in the latest version of the app. So, before you sync the accounts, head to your App Store or Play Store and update your IG application. 

Step #2: Set up your Account Center

  1. Go to your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines above.
  3. Select ‘Settings.’
  4. Scroll down and tap ‘Account Center.’
  5. Proceed to log in to your Facebook account.
  6. Confirm the syncing process. 

Now, your Instagram DM logo should be swapped with the Messenger icon. If that’s the case, you can now react to your direct messages using emojis other than ♥.

How to Use the Instagram Reaction in the DM

Open the conversation you want, tap, and hold the message you want to react to. A set of 6 emojis will show up, and you can tap any of them to show your reaction. 

Tip: You can tap and hold your reaction emoji to remove it. 

instagram reactions

Change the Emojis of the Instagram Reactions

If you don’t like the six default emojis, tap and hold a random message and select the plus icon (+) next to the emojis. It will take you to a new tab where you can customize your reactions. Tap the emoji you want to replace, then tap the one you wish to exchange it with. (You can look up the emojis using the search bar). 

Why Can’t I Access Instagram Reactions?

There are three main reasons why you might not be able to use DM emoji reactions: 

You’re using an older app version. 

The feature is available in the latest app updates. So, you should ensure your application is up-to-date in advance. Otherwise, you won’t see the emojis in your DMs. 

Your Messenger is not synced with Instagram DM. 

The IG reactions are actually a Facebook Messenger feature. You cannot use them unless you set up your Account Center and sync your FB account with your Instagram.

The feature is NOT available in your region. 

Instagram has several region-specific features. The DM emoji reactions are currently available in several countries. And the app hasn’t announced a plan to release it globally. So, if you cannot see the option in your DMs despite syncing your accounts and updating your app, it’s because you’re living in a restricted region. 

Unfortunately, there’s no solution to fix this problem. You need to be patient until IG releases the feature in your area. 

Quick Recap

  • Instagram reactions are sets of emojis that allow you to express your impression without sending text messages. 
  • There’re two types of reactions, one is called Quick Reaction, and it appears in Stories. The other is called DM reactions and shows up when you tap and hold a direct message.
  • You can customize your DM reaction emojis by tapping the + icon next to them. 
  • Your Account Center must be active, and your IG account should be synced with your Facebook. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use the Instagram reactions features. 
  • The feature is not available worldwide. So, you might not be able to use it.