After testing new delivered/read indicators and a photo picker redesign, Google Messages is beginning to roll out full emoji reactions for some users.
For some time now, long-pressing on an RCS chat has let you react with one of seven emoji: thumbs up/down, Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes, Face with Tears of Joy, Face with Open Mouth, Crying Face, and Angry Face.
This pill-shaped panel is now home to a “plus” icon that brings up the full emoji picker organized by category. (It’s the same sheet you get when tapping the emoji icon next to the microphone in the message field, but without the tabs for GIFs and Stickers.) Recently used reactions will appear in the top row, but it’s unclear whether it will eventually replace the seven defaults.
As we first enabled in September, you can select the full complement of emoji for more nuanced reactions in Google Messages. Like before, you can tap the character that appears at the bottom-right corner of a message bubble to get a better view of it, which will be needed more than ever now.
We’ve so far encountered two reports of this being rolled out with the latest beta, but it’s otherwise not yet widely available. Another expansion of Messages’ expressive capabilities, it’s working for both RCS chats and SMS texts.
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