Google adds a large number of new “chat” features to its Messenger application, aligning it with applications like Facebook Messenger or Messages on iOS. Emoji-reactions is the star of the show, but other features like built-in voice memos and Duo calls are also part of this messaging update.
We first heard of Messenger’s emoji reactions in May, when Google starts testing the feature on some lucky users. Now that emoji reactions are available to everyone, you can tap and hold any message to react with an animated emoji of your choice.
Google is also adding animated stickers to its smart response bar, which suggests messages and emojis to send based on your current conversation. If that doesn’t do the job, you can send a voice memo or make a Google Duo call from the Messenger app. To start a Duo call, tap the camera icon at the top of a conversation in Messenger.
You might notice little new features in Messenger, like the ability to edit photos before texting them to friends. These quality of life improvements are long overdue for Messenger and should make SMS on Android work with other chat apps.
New Messenger features are available through the latest version of Messenger. If you don’t see any emoji reactions after updating Messenger, go to “Messenger Settings”, tap “Chat Features” and turn on “Chat Features”.