Google is adding a number of new “chat”; features to its Messenger app, making it in line with apps like Facebook Messenger or messaging on iOS. Emoji reactions are the star of the show, but other features such as voice memos and integrated Duo calls are also part of this messenger update.
We first heard about Messenger emoji reactions in May, when Google began testing the feature on some lucky users. Now that emoji reactions are available to everyone, you can tap and hold any message to respond to it with an animated emoji of your choice.
Google also adds animated stickers in the Smart Answer field, which suggest sending messages and emojis based on your current conversation. If it does not get the job done, you can send a voice memo or initiate 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 may notice some small new features in Messenger, such as the option to edit photos before sending them to friends. These improvements in quality of life are too long delayed for Messenger and should get SMS on Android faster with other chat apps.
Messenger new features are available through the latest version of Messenger. If you do not see emoji reactions after updating Messenger, go to “Messenger Settings”, tap “Chat Features” and enable “Chat Features.”