Android Messages with a dark theme Source: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has begun testing the much-anticipated 'reactions' feature in its Messages app.
  • For now, only a small number of users are seeing the feature in their RCS chats.
  • Google is expected to begin rolling out the feature to users sometime in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, an APK teardown had revealed that Google was working on adding emoji reactions similar to iMessage to its Messages app. It now appears that Google has started testing the feature for RCS chats in the Messages app.

As spotted by Android Police, a few users on Reddit have confirmed that message reactions have started appearing in Google Messages. To select an emoji reaction, users have to long press on a message. As of now, however, it appears there are only seven emoji reactions to choose from.

When a user who has the feature enabled sends a message reaction to another user who does not, a fallback text is sent, describing the emoji that was used for the message. As per users on Reddit, however, these fallback messages are not sent to contacts who do not have RCS enabled. The emoji reaction feature is currently not available for SMS-only conversations.

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Even though Google has rolled out a new beta version of its Messages app, you won't be able to access message reactions simply by installing the latest beta. While it hasn't been confirmed, there is a good chance that it is a limited server-side test. Google will likely share more information about the new feature soon and could begin rolling it out to users sometime in the second half of the year.

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