Google Messages already rolling out the setting to turn off animated reaction effects

Google Messages already rolling out the setting to turn off animated reaction effects

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Some great news today for those who find the animated emoji and reaction effects in Google Messages to be a bit much. Google is now rolling out the previously spotted setting within the app that allows users to disable these animations and effects altogether.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the new “Show expressive animations” setting is currently rolling out to the latest Google Messages beta (v20240426_01_RC00), but it is not yet available in the stable channel. It also appears to have a server component to it since I’m on that same version, and it’s not available for me, yet. 
Once rolled out, this new setting can be found in the Google Messages settings menu and when enabled (which is the default setting), users will see the animated emoji, reaction effects, and fullscreen screen effects that Google has been adding to the app in recent updates. However, if you find these animations to be distracting or unnecessary, you can now disable them with a simple toggle.

Google Messages’ settings toggle to enable or disable “Show expressive animations” | Credit: 9to5Google

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Disabling it will replace animated emoji with regular static emoji, and will get rid of the fullscreen screen effects and reaction effects entirely. However, it’s important to note that reactions you leave on messages will still animate, albeit with a much more subtle and minimal movement. Additionally, photomoji, which are emoji created from your own photos, will still be available for use.

This is a welcome change for many users who have complained that the current animation overload in Google Messages is excessive for such a common task as messaging, adding that Google may have overdone them a bit. Previously, the only way to disable these animations was to turn off animations system-wide across your entire phone, which would also affect animations in other apps. This new setting provides a much more targeted way to control the animations in Google Messages specifically.



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