Google has started rolling out Photomoji, which can be used as stickers and reactions, but most of the new Messages features that were announced last week have not yet gone live.
A circular badge will appear over the emoji button in the compose field in Google Messages, gently alerting you to the presence of Photomoji on your device. By long-pressing on an SMS text or RCS chat and scrolling to the bottom of the reactions bar for “Create,” you can add additional ones. The emoji picker also has that button, allowing you to create emojis without sending them first.
This will launch the standard Messages media picker so you can choose a picture. It takes a moment to scan the “Looking for things to make photomoji…” page. Google then draws attention to items that could spark a response.
Users have no control over this process because it is fully automated. Although it would have been nice to have manual refinements, such as the ability to circle objects with your finger, as in Magic Eraser, Google’s detection mechanism is quite good.
The Photomoji will be sent as a response when you hit Send. While tapping will bring up a pane with a much larger preview, these creations are the same size as all other emoji.
In the meantime, the reactions strip, GIFs, stickers, and your own Photomoji will all be visible in a new “Custom” tab alongside other Emoji, Stickers, and GIFs. Sorting by “All,” “Yours,” and “Others” is quick and easy. Because of this, Photomoji can also be sent as stickers.
Only two of our Android smartphones have Photomoji installed as of this morning. Although it’s not been widely implemented in the beta program yet, Reaction Effects, which use Animated Emoji and 👍❤️ 😂😮😡👎💩🎉😠😢, seem to be.