Discourse Reactions - Beyond Likes

Bored of likes in discourse? Here’s something you will definitely love.


Discourse-reactions is a plugin that allows user to add their reactions to the post. This plugin can engage more audiences to the post. Users who may not have previously wanted to Like your content are now able to send more specific signals about how your content makes them feel. Users who may not have wanted to use their phones to post can now use them to “react” much easier.

Reactions can be different on each website as we have an amazing feature where site admin can set their list of emojis which can be used as reactions.

To customize the reactions use the site setting discourse_reactions_enabled_reactions and define emojis you want as reactions separated by | eg: open_mouth|cry|angry

This plugin will work as an add-on to the likes feature, anytime you want to remove the plugin, all likes will be preserved.

:link: Repository Link


:link: How to install a plugin


You can configure these Site Settings:

  • discourse_reactions_enabled To enable the plugin
  • discourse_reactions_enabled_reactions To define the list of enabled reactions, any emoji is allowed here. default: laughing|open_mouth|cry|angry|thumbsup|thumbsdown
  • discourse_reactions_like_icon To replace the like icon.
  • discourse_reactions_reaction_for_like To define the name of like reaction.

Creating a reaction

The reaction can be created either by clicking the like icon OR by hovering and selecting reaction from the reaction picker.


  • In Mobile to open the reaction-panel long press on like icon.

Screenshot 2021-03-15 at 10.14.04 AM

See who reacted?

On the left side of the post, there will be a list of reactions, by clicking on it, there will be a modal displayed with the list of reactions.

If there are only likes in the post, a list of reactions will not be available but there will be a like-count besides the like button. clicking on it will display the same modal.

Don’t want to see this whole modal? Just hover on the reaction-emoji in the list to see the recently reacted users (Available Only on the desktop site).

See Your reactions?

In the user page activity, there is an extra Reactions tab where you will find all reactions you made.

See who reacted to your post?

In the user page notifications, there is an extra Reactions tab where you will find all reactions made to your posts.


First Reaction Badge is granted to the user when they make their first reaction to a post.



Special Thanks

Special thanks to @joffreyjaffeux for being such a nice mentor and for being super helpful in everything :open_hands: and @team for helping us to make the plugin works perfect by finding bugs as much as possible.


We’ve just added Discourse Reactions to Discourse for Teams! :confetti_ball:

In testing, I am having some trouble understanding the difference between the following two settings. When would you want to choose different emojis for them? Should they not be rolled into one setting for discourse reactions like icon?

Also, I am having an odd problem with the first discourse reactions like icon setting. when I change it from the default heart to another emoji, say open_mouth, it does not show up. Is there something else that needs to be done to get this to work, or does it take a while for it to start appearing? See screenshot below.

As you can see, selecting the 1 correctly display the open mounth emoji I chose to represent likes, but it’s not showing up as the button to push to like.

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 12.46.04 PM

And another thing… if you change the second one from heart to something else, then try to change it back to default (heart), it doesn’t work… gives an error. because heart is no longer on the list of available emojis. To reset it, you hae to add :heart: again to the enabled reactions, or reseat the enabled reactions to default first. Probably not much that can easily be done about that.

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 1.20.29 PM


Very happy to hear this :tada::partying_face:

Discourse reaction like icon Setting is used to replace of heart(Empty & filled) the icon in the post of core discourse. & Discourse reaction reaction for like is used to replace :heart: emoji for like to say :open_mouth: (open_mouth) emoji.

The reason for this is, in core we are using heart icon which is available for both empty & filled versions & open_mouth is available for only outlined version. We need a fix for this.

This is because you can set this setting to the ones available in discourse reactions enabled reaction only. Eg: discourse_reactions_enabled_reaction has 3 emojis say :grinning: :smiley: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Now for setting discourse reaction reaction for like Needs to be one of these grinning/smiley/grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes


I see. Thanks for explaining - it’s a bit confusing! One thing @awesomerobot also pointed out is that the discourse reactions like icon expects a font awesome icon, so for example thumbs-up works while thumbsup does not, whereas the discourse reactions for like is selected from the list of enabled reactions.

I had a feature request from a customer - to allow ALL emojis to be used as reactions. Has anyone ever asked for this before? I think this is the way it works in Facebook (guessing because I don’t have a facebook account). It offers some suggested common ones and then has a ‘more’ to select any emoji from the huge list available.

1 Like

Discord also works this way and I greatly enjoy it :+1:


I believe Facebook has fix reactions but Messenger allow use all emojis for reaction. :slightly_smiling_face:


If I try to replace the heart icon with the fas fa-utensils icon in discourse reactions like icon. Any specific reason why the icon doesn’t show up? I tried many other icons besides heart and thumbs-up and none of them show up.

Sorry, just a wild guess — but you can’t use fas fa-. And the name for thumbs-up is +1 when it will be enabled. And thumbs-up when it is default. Confusing? Defenetly yes.

1 Like

Yeah, I tried all combos: utensils, fa-utensils, fas-utensils, etc. and also added these to svg icon subset setting. But the icon is maddenly absent. :sweat_smile:

(We are a food forum. Hence the utensils ‘like’ icon. We have been using the utensils as our regular like icon for years now.)

1 Like

(I would like to get reactions here too… now I could only like and spread love, mut I would laugh instead :wink: )

Mostly because there are two things at play here:

  • icons
  • emojis

They have different names and not much we can do about it, icon is used to display the button under the post, emojis are what you can use as reaction to a post.

Emojis can’t be added through SVGs they are limited to the unicode standard.


Right. I have no problem with the emojis- they are all showing up properly. I had trouble with the icon, however. Just couldn’t get it to show.

That is good news. Will it also be activated for the business plan?
Thank you!


Yes, that is our plan.


Any chance this plugin was enabled on sites by default recently? I saw it show up on https://community.wanikani.com and was surprised since the admins over there don’t really customize much with the forum. I haven’t actually checked with them yet though to see if they turned it on intentionally.


Investigating this, that’s a mistake and not intended.


Is it possible to sort a topic by a certain reaction? That would be very nice.

An alternative would be to include one or more buttons in the topic summary box, for instance beside the “Summarize This Topic” button with “Most Liked Posts” or even better “More Reacted Posts” with a small dropdown to choose the reaction in question (and then listing the top 10, top 50 or something like that).

1 Like

Hi, no sorry it’s not possible, and not on the roadmap sorry.


I’ve spotted that the Reactions badge seems to be enabled by default, even if the Reactions themselves are disabled.

And the Badge also doesn’t get removed when the plugin is.

Not sure if this is expected behaviour.

Edit: A couple of other bits:

It also awards the badge for a first reaction in a personal message, and then displays topic title/link as the ‘awarded for post’ in the badge list (I was expecting only posts from public topics to appear in the badge list).

And the options to “Show badge on the public badges page” and “Show post granting badge on badge page” are greyed out, and can’t be disabled (so no workaround apart from revoking the badge).

Not an issue as such, but thought I’d share the info. :+1:

Edit #2 I also noticed that the avatar picture of a muted user is not blanked out in the reaction panel as it would be for a regular Like.

1 Like


The plugin doesn’t work very well on mobile touch screens.

When I press the like button, the reaction panel opens for a second but quickly disappears. Then it won’t open again when I press the like button.