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New features to celebrate Messages' 1 billion RCS users

Shows happy people and new Google Messages features, including Voice moods, Photomoji, Screen effects, profiles, RCS features and rewrite pencil icon.

For years, we’ve been working across the mobile industry, including carriers and smartphone manufacturers around the world, to evolve and adopt RCS, the modern texting standard.

By replacing the outdated SMS and MMS protocols, users benefit from a more modern and secure messaging experience with typing indicators, read receipts, threaded replies, high-quality media sharing, improved group chats, better privacy like end-to-end encryption and more with RCS. RCS is a much better messaging protocol, and we know that people love using it.

Today marks a new milestone that we are incredibly proud of: There are now more than one billion monthly active users with RCS enabled in Google Messages. We are grateful to our partners and our users that have advocated for RCS over the years — it’s been a lot of work to get here, and we want to thank you. Beyond Google Messages, there are other messaging clients that use RCS and we are pleased that Apple also took their first step two weeks ago in announcing that they’re embracing RCS.

1 billion RCS on Messages

To celebrate our one billion milestone, Google Messages is introducing seven fun new ways to express yourself when communicating and connecting with other Android users – from shared themes and screen effects to AI-powered reactions. Here they are!

1. Photomoji

Photomoji allows you to transform your favorite photos into reactions with the help of on-device Google AI. Want to react to a text with a snap of you or your four-legged best friend? Simply select the photo, choose the object you’d like to turn into a Photomoji and hit send. Your creations will be saved in a special tab for reuse and, as a bonus, your friends in group chats can use your sent Photomoji as well.

2. Voice Moods, plus improved audio quality

Voice Moods bring life into voice messaging. With nine different emotions to choose from, your voice can sprinkle heart-eye emoji, fume with fireballs or break out the party popper so the recipient can hear your words along with a visual effect that expresses how you're feeling at that moment. Thanks to user feedback, we’ve also improved the overall audio quality of voice messages by increasing the bitrate and sampling rate.

3. Screen Effects

With Screen Effects, your messages come alive with vibrant animations that will transform your words into dazzling visual displays. Simply type specific messages like "it's snowing" or "I love you" and watch your screen erupt in a symphony of colors and motion. And together with your friends, try to uncover all 15+ hidden Screen Effects prompt words.

4. Custom Bubbles

With new Custom Bubbles, you can customize the bubble color and backgrounds of your conversation and the person you’re communicating with. Pick a different color for every chat if you like — it’s no longer about blue vs. green. Now you can differentiate your conversations and avoid accidentally texting your family group chat a weekend update meant for your friend.

5. Reaction Effects

Reaction Effects is an addition to your messaging experience that injects more life into your conversations. Picture this: Your friend texts you to let you know the two of you have reservations to that trendy new restaurant that everyone has been buzzing about. If you react to the message with a simple 👍emoji, magic instantly unfolds as an animated trio of hands dances around the message bubble. This feature, designed to add a dynamic twist to your chats, embraces the power of expression with all ten of these popular emoji: 👍❤️ 😂😮😡👎💩🎉😠😢.

6. Animated Emoji

While emoji are the foundation of our expressions when we text, Animated Emoji take it a step further by infusing each message with a captivating burst of visual effects. For example, if your friend sends you a message revealing the breathtaking vacation spot they just booked for your trip and in response you tap ❤️, you’ll unleash an Animated Emoji that sparkles with a dazzling pink heart to properly express your excitement.

7. Profile

Showing a screen where the user can customize their user name and picture details on an Android phone.

Easily change your profile name and picture that accompanies your phone number. We know self-expression is important, so you can now change how you appear across Google services. This helps people recognize you, particularly in group chats.

Try the new Google Messages today

Whether you’re using Reaction effects to stay connected in the group chat over the holidays or sending a heartfelt message with Voice Moods to a friend on New Year’s Eve, we want your Google Messages with RCS experience to feel authentic–to all one billion of you!

Download Google Messages from the Google Play Store and start enjoying many of these new features rolling out to beta starting today1.

More Information


Availability of features may vary by market and device. Sign up for beta testing and a data plan may be required

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