When someone sends you a video message on your Google Duo and you don’t have time to type a proper response yet (or there are just no words), it would be helpful to have a quick way to respond. Now Google is giving you this new feature as a New Year’s gift as you can now use emoji reactions to give a quick reply to your contact that sent you the message. The function is pretty basic for now and has limited emoji-based reactions but hopefully, we get more improvements soon.
Android Police says there are already users screen capping and showing that they have the emoji reactions already. However, you can’t react with just any of the emojis that are in your virtual keyboard. When you receive a video message, you’ll see the options with a selector expanding vertically from a button on the bottom right. There are eight emojis to choose from: thumbs up, thumbs down, heart eyes, laugh-cry, surprise, party hat, and a crying emoji.
The eight one will probably vary, depending on the occasion. Some saw a Christmas tree while others had fireworks. It’s probably a seasonal one so expect it to change every once in a while. You cannot select one emoji after another if you want to give different reactions. The emoji reaction you sent will be highlighted with a round outline, just in case you forgot how you reacted.
You can only select one and then if you choose a second one, it will just replace the first one instead of adding to it. Everyone in the video message “conversation” will get notified about your reaction. This is not exactly a groundbreaking feature but it does give you a convenient way of quickly reacting to someone sending you a video chat. And of course, with our love for emojis, sometimes it is worth than a thousand words.
The feature seems to have rolled out to most users already, whether through a server-side switch or an app update. Either way there was no official announcement from Google, but go and check your Duo app and see if it’s there.