Google Messages is trying out profile discovery and new customization features

The Google Messages app on the Pixel 3
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is experimenting with a "Profile Discovery" feature in the Messages app, allowing you to control whether your name and picture are visible to others who find you via email or phone number in Google products.
  • The feature is supposedly in beta at the moment, with only a handful of users having access to it.
  • Google is also testing new wallpaper and color options for Messages, which could give you more control over the appearance of your chats.

Google Messages just dropped a new feature called "Profile Discovery" as part of a new test, allowing you to throw in your name and photo in the messaging app so anyone with your phone number or email can spot you across Google products and services.

AssembleDebug posted some screenshots on X (you know, what used to be Twitter) showing off Profile Discovery in the Google Messages app (via Android Police).

It looks like this fresh feature is currently rolling out in beta, but not everyone's got their hands on it just yet.

With this new feature, you'll have the option to make your profile visible across Google products, making it easier for others to recognize you. You can also upload a profile photo and customize your name, with options like your full name, just your first name, and initials.

Meanwhile, you can either roll with your current profile picture or keep it really simple with just a letter on a plain background. Whenever Google decides to release this feature to everyone, you'll find it under Messages Settings > Advanced.

Profile Discovery seems to be optional. Turn it on, and your name and picture might pop up for users finding you through email or phone numbers across Google services. It's not clear which other Google products will use Profile Discovery, though.

Back in January, eagle-eyed Redditors stumbled upon Profiles in Android settings. More recently, additional details surfaced in a deep dive into the app's APK.

In addition to Profile Discovery, Google might also be working on new ways to customize the look of chats in Messages. Some hidden flag spotted by AssembleDebug suggests that there could be new wallpaper and color options in the future. This would give you more control over how Messages looks and feels to match your vibe, just like you can with other messaging apps like WhatsApp.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.