What Does “Emphasize” Mean on iPhone?

The 21st century is the century of convenience, and software developers keep coming up with brilliant ideas to ease online interaction. 

We had the emoji feature long before now, which is pretty simple to use. But right now, we have reactions even simpler to engage while passing the same message with similar accuracy.

Each day, smartphone developers build new features to aid convenience. Right now, you do not have to type a message to respond to a chat; all you need to do is engage the tapback feature. 

This feature lets users react in different ways to messages. For example, if someone sends a message which you find funny, you do not have to type “funny,” “lol,” or “lmao” to respond to that chat. 

In the same vein, this tapback feature allows you to react in other ways, like giving a thumbs up or down in approval or disapproval of a message. 

The emphasize tool comes in the form of two exclamation marks. To emphasize a text, all you need to do is tap the message you want to react to and click the double exclamation marks.

What Does it Mean When Someone Emphasizes a Text on iPhone? 

From the root word “emphasis,” “emphasize” means to stress something to catch someone’s attention. In context, to emphasize a message on an iPhone is to make it a focal point, drawing the person’s attention on the other end. 

It can be used for several reasons and mean different things. First, you can simply react instead of typing to keep an iMessage group sane and less crowded with comments. Also, why type again when you can draw attention to a message you have previously sent? We will discuss other reasons subsequently.

When someone emphasizes a text, it could mean different things, depending on the situation. Below are a few scenarios;

Please Respond to This

While responding to other messages, we often tend to mistakenly not respond to the important ones. Sometimes as an oversight or otherwise, the person on the other end may not answer a question you asked. 

In cases like this, you can emphasize the message, which is polite to tell someone, “Please respond to this.” This way, you draw the person’s attention to whatever you need an answer.

I Agree

The emphasize tool is an excellent way to react to a message to show approval. For example, if your friend sends a text like “You are the bomb,” you can emphasize and it simply means “That’s true” or “I agree with you.” 

Also, setting up a meeting with a friend like “Meet me at McDonald’s by 5:00 pm,” the double exclamation means “I got it” or “I will be there.”

I Get It

The double exclamation is a subtle way of telling someone something has been said before. It can be not very comfortable when someone keeps sending the same message over and over again because they feel you did not see it. 

Therefore, you could use the “emphasize” reaction without being rude. This way, the person on the other end gets a notification about your reaction.

I Am Shocked

Emphasizing a text is also a great way of expressing shock. Most times, when you have good news, the first thing you want to do is share it with your family and friends. 

For example, your fiance just proposed, you hastily send pictures to your friends, and they react with the double exclamation. This reaction portrays “OH MY GOD!!!” “Congratulations,” “I’m so happy for you,” etc.   

How Do You Like or Emphasize a Text Message?

One of the reasons for the tapback feature is to bring a whole new level of convenience to online interactions. However, it is noteworthy that emojis are not the same as reactions, even though they both convey emotions. 

Emojis appear as standard messages, while reactions directly respond to a particular text. Tapback reactions came into the scene in 2016, when Apple launched iMessages, whereas emojis have been around long before.

Below is a step by step procedure to emphasize a text;

  1. Open a chatbox
  2. Long-press the message you want to react to, and a lineup of reactions will pop up around the text.
  3. Click on the option with the double exclamation mark. Your reaction will appear on the message and sends it automatically.
  4. Done

Someone may ask, “How do I unsend a reaction?” It is pretty much the same process;

  1. Hold down on the message. the available reactions will appear
  2. Tap on the same reaction you want to remove
  3. It is gone. Automatically.


Besides “Emphasize,” six other reactions appear when you long-press on the message you wish to react to. These different reactions are “heart,” “thumbs up,” “thumbs down,” “ha-ha,” and a question mark. 

However, reactions are available on iMessages only, not SMS, and this is because iMessages require an internet connection while SMS does not. 

Overall, tapback reactions are helpful while chatting as they indicate your emotions or stance on specific topics in the most subtle way. 

However, while tapbacks make for a great deal of convenience, they are pretty ambiguous such that they convey multiple meanings.