Google Meet gains emoji in-call reactions because reasons

You can (finally?) react to something on a Google Meet call using reactions.


Google has announced that people on a Google Meet call can now react to what people are saying using not their voice, not hand-waving, but emojis. We’re not sure who asked for this, but someone presumably did.

The new feature is what Google hopes will make it easier for people to react to calls without interrupting people or getting in the way of others. They’ll still be pretty difficult to avoid, though, with Google saying that “these reactions will show as a small badge in the sender’s video tile and floating up the left side of the screen.”


Wondering just how popular your recent slideshow was? Wonder no more! “When there are multiple user engagements, you’ll see a burst of emojis on the left side of your screen,” says Google in a Workspace blog post.

In use, reacting with an emoji couldn’t be easier. Users will select a small smiley emoji icon on-screen and then select from a list of emojis. There’s also the option to customise the skin tone of emojis when needed so that users can pick the one that best suits their identity.

The reason for the emoji reactions launch, Google says, is to offer a “non-disruptive way to engage and participate in meetings without interrupting the speaker.” It also closely mimics similar features in social media video streaming apps so will likely be immediately familiar to most people.

As for availability, Google says that the rollout will begin starting on 16 January for those who have Workspace accounts, but people who use their personal Google accounts will see the new feature kick in right now. Admins of Workspaces can of course disable the reactions in their console, but Google says that they’ll be enabled automatically by default.

Quite why you’d want to disable them isn’t clear – perhaps you’d just rather people actually talk to each other now you dragged them onto a call they didn’t want to join anyway.


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