Gmail has introduced a novel feature that enables users to express their reactions to emails using emojis, mirroring the functionality commonly found in messaging apps.
If this feature garners popularity, it is anticipated to expand to iOS and the web in due course. Similar to how it is implemented in popular chat applications, Gmail will provide users with the ability to use emoji reactions for individual messages.
Upon opening an email, users will discover the new emoji reaction button, positioned to the right of the familiar Reply, Reply All, and Forward options. Clicking on this button will reveal a collection of emojis for users to choose from. They can simply tap their preferred emoji, and their reaction is registered.
Users are not confined to Google’s default emoji set for their reactions. By tapping the plus button found at the end of the emoji row, they can include additional emojis of their choosing. All reactions to an email will be visible at the email’s bottom. Users can also see who reacted in a particular way by tapping and holding on each emoji. Tapping (without holding) on an existing reaction will add more to the same emoji counter. Additionally, some emojis trigger special effects, such as the party popper emoji, which initiates a full-page celebration. Google has hinted that more emojis may possess similar features in the future. Users can also undo an emoji reaction by selecting “Undo” immediately after creating it. This option remains available as long as users have configured “Undo Send” for emails in their Gmail settings on their computer.
When utilizing a third-party email client in conjunction with a Gmail account, each individual emoji reaction will appear as a separate email reply, even if the Conversation view in Gmail has been disabled.
It’s worth noting that emoji reactions will not be accessible for school or work accounts. Additionally, they won’t be available under specific circumstances, such as when an email is sent to more than 20 people, sent to a group email list, in BCC (Blind Carbon Copy), when more than 20 reactions to the same message have already been sent, when the sender has specified a custom reply-to address, or when the message is encrypted with client-side encryption.
If users do not see emoji reactions in their Gmail interface yet, it’s important to be aware that Google typically takes a few days to roll out a new feature to all users once it’s activated.