Gmail Prepares to Launch In-App Emoji Reactions Feature

  • Charlotte Anderson
  • Oct 01, 2023
  • 263
Gmail Prepares to Launch In-App Emoji Reactions Feature

For those who find emojis a quicker and more fun way to respond to messages, Google is now looking to make this feature part of the Gmail experience. The tech giant is reportedly developing functionality to react to emails with emojis directly from within the Gmail platform itself.

Set to be gradually released starting in October, according to AssembleDebug's report on TheSpAndroid, the Emoji reactions feature will be activated by clicking the smiley face emoji beside an email within Gmail. This click prompts a suggestion to respond promptly and add a personal touch by selecting an emoji. If used, recipients using Gmail will see the chosen emoji at the lower end of the corresponding email. For those part of the email thread but not using Gmail, the emoji response will be delivered as a normal email reply, akin to an iMessage reaction.

The emoji reaction feature presents users with five preset options to choose from, but tapping the '+' brings up a larger emoji menu. Google may also introduce a feature allowing users to chime in on an email thread by merely tapping on an existing emoji reaction. However, there are certain restrictions. The feature can't be used in encrypted or BCC emails; a cap of 20 emoji reactions per email is imposed, and each email can only have a maximum of 50 unique reactions. Further limitations may apply, but these are yet to be confirmed.

Evidence that Google has been working on this feature for weeks was found in the iOS Gmail app's code. Further similar code strings were discovered in the Gmail APK for Android. AssembleDebug managed to get the emoji reactions working through root manipulation, although once officially available, it's likely to be rolled out gradually rather than being available to all Gmail users immediately.

With this development, Gmail is heading towards a more personalized messaging experience. At the very least, the emoji reactions feature will allow recipients to acknowledge an email without the pressure to immediately draft a response. While the potential for misunderstandings via emoji use remains, the benefits of this quick and friendly response option could well outweigh the risks.

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