Google Messages Introduces Option to Disable Animated Reaction Effects

What you should know


  • Google is rolling out a new setting in Google Messages that allows users to disable animated emoji and reaction effects.
  • The “Show expressive animations” setting is currently available in the latest Google Messages beta version and is expected to be available in the stable channel soon.
  • Disabling the setting will replace animated emoji with static ones and remove fullscreen effects and reaction effects, although reactions will still have minimal movement.
  • This update provides a targeted way to control animations in Google Messages, addressing user complaints about the excessive use of animations in the app.


Full Story

Oh, boy, have I got some juicy tidbits for ya today. Especially for those who think the whole animated emoji and reaction effects in Google Messages are, well, a tad over the top. So, here’s the scoop: Google’s finally rolling out this nifty little setting we caught wind of earlier. It lets you turn off all those flashy animations and effects. Bam, just like that.

Spotted by the eagle eyes over at 9to5Google, this fresh “Show expressive animations” setting is making its grand entrance in the latest Google Messages beta. That’s v20240426_01_RC00 for those keeping score. But hold your horses—it’s not hit the stable channel just yet. And get this, it seems there’s a bit of server-side magic at play too. ‘Cause yours truly is on that very version, and nada, zip, zilch—it’s not showing up for me. Yet.

Once this baby fully rolls out, you’ll find it nestled in the Google Messages settings menu. By default, it’s switched on. That means all the animated emoji, reaction effects, and those in-your-face fullscreen effects Google’s been slipping into the app will be there in all their glory. But, and it’s a big but, if you’re like me and find all that jazz more annoying than amusing, you’re in luck. A simple flick of a toggle, and poof, they’re gone.

Here’s a little visual for ya: Google Messages’ settings now include a toggle to either show or hide these “Show expressive animations.” Courtesy of 9to5Google, of course. Disabling it means animated emoji are replaced with good ol’ regular static ones. And those fullscreen effects and reaction animations? Gone. Kaput.

But wait, there’s a catch. Those reactions you leave on messages? They’ll still do their little dance, just more like a quiet shuffle than a full-on boogie. And for those who’ve dabbled in photomoji—yeah, those emoji made from your pics—they’re sticking around too.

For a bunch of us, this is a breath of fresh air. We’ve been moaning about the animation overload in Google Messages, saying it’s a bit much for something as mundane as texting. Felt like Google might’ve gotten a tad carried away. Before, if you wanted to ditch these animations, you had to nix animations across your whole phone. Not ideal, right? This new setting? It’s like Google finally handed us a scalpel after we’ve been hacking away with a sledgehammer.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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