RCS messaging offers several benefits over traditional SMS text messages, like typing indicators and read receipts. Now it looks like some users of Google's Messages app are getting another feature that you don't get with regular texts.
Some folks are now getting message reactions inside the Messages app. The feature quietly began appearing for some folks on Reddit this week (via Android Police), but it looks to be in limited testing right now because only a handful of Messages users actually have it.
As you can see in the screenshots below, the feature is similar to Apple's iMessage reactions. You can press and hold on the message you want to react to and you'll get 7 different reactions to choose from, including thumbs up and down emojis, an angry face, and a heart eyes face.
The chosen reaction will appear in a small circle in the corner of the message that's being reacted to.
If one participant in an RCS chat has reactions but the other doesn't, the person will just get another message that includes the emoji of the reaction plus the message that they reacted to.
Message reactions can be a fun addition to your chats, and it can be faster and easier than switching to an emoji keyboard, searching for a particular emoji, and then sending it as a separate message. After Google began making RCS available to all Android users through its Messages app last year, it's nice to see the company continue to improve RCS in Messages.
Google hasn't officially announced this new reactions feature for its Messages app, so it's unclear when or if it'll begin rolling out more widely. Google I/O would've been held this week if it hadn't been canceled due to the coronavirus, so it's possible that Google will officially announce this feature soon.