Gmail just got more reactive. Google is bringing emoji reactions to its email service, allowing users to add personality to their messages. Reactions include a thumbs up, a sparkling heart, a party popper, a laughing face, praying hands, the classic smiley face and more. The feature has begun rolling out to Android devices and will appear on iOS devices and the web in the coming months.
Like emojis on instant messages, the new Gmail reactions are a handy alternative for emails that don’t necessarily need a written reply. Everyone in the thread will be able to see your emoji reaction, which may even include an animation. For instance, the party popper shows digital confetti raining down on your screen. You can send up to 20 reactions to the same Gmail message.
However, there are some caveats. For instance, if you have a work or school account, not only are you unable to send emoji reactions, but you’ll also receive each emoji as a separate email, per Google’s dedicated support page. The same goes for using a third-party email such as Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. Gmail also doesn’t allow you to send reactions if you’re in BCC, the message is encrypted or the sender has a custom reply-to address.
Rumors about emoji reactions coming to Gmail first appeared on industry insider AssembleDebug’s blog, TheSpAndroid and The Tape Drive with Steve Moser. AssembleDebug also demoed the feature in a YouTube video.