Google Messages is getting ready to let you react with any emoji you like

Look forward to the edgelord in your life spamming every message with 💩

Smartphone users get weirdly defensive about a lot of their choices, and right there at the top of that list lies messaging platforms. From group texts to green bubbles, leaving on read to forwarding memes, there’s no shortage of tiny little topics for us to get all nice and contentious as we debate them. Message reactions are definitely one of those subjects, whether you’re all-in with RCS or just trying to keep up with your iPhone-using friends. Thankfully, Google looks ready to really open the message reaction floodgates, as the Messages app tests the ability to react with any emoji you want.


If you’ve been using RCS, you’re no doubt already familiar with message reactions, giving you the ability to quickly fire off an emoji in response. So far, Google’s limited this to a basic set of seven: 👍 😍 😂 😮 😥 😠 and 👎.


Back in September, 9to5Google discovered during a teardown of the Messages app that a framework was in development for responding to texts with any emoji you wanted, replacing the thumbs-down in that list with a shortcut to an emoji picker. And now with the latest beta release of Messages (available on APKMirror), select users are starting to see this functionality finally go live.

Availability still seems to be severely limited, so don’t take it too personally if you’re still stuck with the default seven, but this is important progress towards broader testing, all the same. It makes perfect sense to give users quick access to the emoji reactions they’ll use the most, but with everyone having their own preferences — to say nothing of how short the shelf life is on emoji before they’re no longer cool — some customization option there feels critical. Here’s hoping we see it on more phones soon.

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