It’s finally here: the tool that could turn your email inbox into a nightmare or pure pleasure, depending on your point of view. Google is adding the ability to react to an email with an emoji.
First rumored last month, Google has now confirmed that it is bringing emoji reactions to its Gmail service. The feature will be rolled out gradually, starting with Android users and moving to Web and iOS users in the coming months.
An animation of how emoji reactions will work. Luckily, you’ll be able to “unsend” just like you would with a regular email (for those times you accidentally hit the thumbs-down emoji).Image: Google
Once you log in, you’ll see a 🙂 at the bottom of the message. Click it to choose your emoji from the menu, then tap and send. A couple of emojis will have special powers, including the party popper emoji 🎉 which will allow for a full-page animation. Yay.
It looks like the feature will be similar to the way most of us use emoji to react to social media posts; you can tap and hold an existing reaction to see who added it, and tap to reuse a reaction added by someone else.
But similar to how Apple’s iMessage Tapbacks are more useful on iOS, emoji reactions will work better on Gmail. If you use a third-party email client, each person’s reaction will come as a separate email… 😭.
There are some other restrictions. You won’t be able to use emoji reactions with your school or work accounts. They will also not be available if the message is sent to more than 20 people, to a group email list, if you were sent on BCC, and in a few other cases. More importantly, you will not be able to react to a message if you have already sent more than 20 reactions to that message.