Why Can’t I React To Messages On Instagram?

Social media comes up with the coolest features to better express ourselves, and to also keep on our screens 24/7! But one can’t help it when they keep releasing the best and coolest functions on these apps.

One of the coolest new features of Instagram is the ability to react to messages that you receive, and NO, you don’t have to type out what you feel anymore!

With a range of emojis, you can customize, you can instantly react to any message you get in a matter of seconds.

But what happens when you can’t make this feature work on your phone?

It can be quite confusing to see that your pals can react to your messages, but you don’t see the option on your phone.

Is There a Known Problem Preventing Message Reactions on Instagram?

In this article, I will talk about the possible reasons why you can’t react to messages on Instagram, and how to fix it.

1. You Haven’t Updated The App Or Messenger Features

One of the main reasons that you are not getting this new feature on Instagram is the fact that you are LATE on your updates.

Also Read:  Instagram Hashtags 101

If you haven’t updated Instagram to the latest version – you can’t react to messages till you do. Plus, you will be losing a whole lot of other new features they’re releasing every now and then.

Instagram also released new Messenger features which need to be updated separately (you can’t do this from the play store). If you had the ability to react before and now you can’t – this might be the problem 9/10 times.


So the BEST way forward is to go on ahead and UPDATE your IG app which you can either do through your App Store on an IOS or the Play Store on Android.

After that, you need to update the message features. Open up IG and click the three lines on the top right to open up settings. On the bottom, you’ll see the option to “update messaging”.

After that, open up IG and check if you can react to messages now – which should be if the update was successful!

2. There’s A Software Issue With Your App

Sometimes, apps can go bonkers for reasons we can’t really figure out.

Certain bugs from other apps on your phone, or weird issues inside the app itself can create problems that can either remove or stop certain features on your phone.


You can go ahead and do the old ‘turn on and off again’ to your application but with a twist.

Instead of closing the app, delete and reinstall it so that you get a fresh application to work with.

Also Read:  Best Instagram Marketing Tools

Chances are, whatever was bothering your app earlier, will have been resolved or removed by now, and you will have a proper new Instagram application with all the right features, INCLUDING the one that you are missing.

3. Your Geographic Region Is Not Supported

Sometimes, certain areas do not have access to specific features, and the reaction feature on Instagram is no different.

For example, the update messaging feature is not available to some people in Europe.

Or sometimes, there are certain bans put on social media altogether in certain countries that will prohibit you from using Instagram by disrupting the application – which means it will NOT load, much less allow you to use the message reaction feature.


What you can do in this situation is try to use a VPN on your phone.

There are multiple free VPN applications online that you can safely download into your device, and turn it on before opening the Instagram application.

This will let you use the newest features that are not usually available to your specific location, or override any bans that your country has launched.

Just be careful as you use VPN, and make sure it is a secure application from a known source.

4. Do you Have A Weak Or Faulty Internet Connection?

If you are somewhere with a VERY poor signal, it can cause problems in your applications, mainly when executing certain very specific functions on your application.

If you have turned on Instagram in an area with very low signal strength, you will not be able to react to messages, or even see new posts on your feed.


If you are connected to wifi, you can try switching to mobile data and see if it solves the issue and makes the reaction feature work again.

If not, you need to move to an area where the signal strength is stronger, and you can check if other online apps are functioning well if you’re not so sure about Instagram.

5. Check Your Privacy Settings

Before you go nuts about why can’t I react to messages on Instagram, try moving into a different conversation and see if you can react to someone ELSE’s messages.

Sometimes, you (or they) might have either blocked or restricted someone in your Instagram list, which also means you cannot react to their messages afterward.

Also Read: Can you curse on Instagram?

If you can react to other people’s messages and not a specific person’s, then you have an issue with your privacy settings.


Go into your application setting on Instagram, and look into the restricted or blocked lists.

If your contact is on that list, either remove them or keep them as is and continue a different conversation with a follower who is not on either list.

Bottom Line

For most people, updating the app and messenger features will fix the can’t react to messages on Instagram issue.

Hope one of these fixes worked for you, and you can start reacting to all your messages, and truly express yourself on Instagram, just the way you’re SUPPOSED TO!

About Author

Lito James is the founder of Massivepeak.com. He is an entrepreneur and marketing specialist who helps businesses to get more leads, subscribers, and customers. Massive Peak has been featured on G2, Cloudways, Sujanpatel, GetResponse, Renderforest, and many more. Follow on LinkedIn | Twitter

Leave a Comment