Google is testing adding an iMessage-like reaction feature to RCS messaging on Android via its Messages app. The feature will allow users to react to individual chats in a conversation using emoji just like iMessage on iPhones. Teardowns of the Messages app from Google had pointed to the company working on this feature which has now seemingly entered the testing phase as it has popped up for some users.
Users who have got the 'reactions' features in the Messages app can react to a message by long-pressing on it which brings up the emoji bar. After this, they can select an appropriate reaction for the message. In total, there are seven reactions to choose from. If the other participant in the chat does not have the reactions feature yet, they will get a message as shown in the screenshot below for reactions.
The above reaction message will also only show up for users who are using an RCS-client and there's no SMS fallback here like with other RCS messages. As of now, support for reactions is not available for Messages on the web.
Google has just started rolling out a new beta version of the Messages app which could trigger a wider rollout of the reactions feature as being reported by many users on the beta channel who installed the update.