RCS in Google Messages is already used by 1 billion people, and the company is preparing a major update in honor of this

Google reported that more than 1 billion active users use RCS in Messages every month. This is a significant achievement considering that RCS support was limited just a few years ago. Currently, RCS works by default on Android smartphones, and next year Apple promises to add support for it on iPhones.

To celebrate the occasion, Google is introducing new messaging features, some of which may seem familiar to iOS users:

Photomoji: This feature allows users to turn their photos into reactions in messages using the device’s built-in Google AI. Users can choose a photo, select the object to be turned into a Photomoji, and send it. These creations are saved for reuse, and friends in group chats can also use them.

Voice moods: This option adds emotional expression to voice messages. Users can choose from nine different emotions, adding visual effects to convey their feelings. Google notes that the sound quality has also been improved based on user feedback.

Screen effects: entering certain messages, such as “it’s snowing” or “I love you,” triggers a themed animation. In total, users will have access to more than 15 such effects, which Google does not name and offers to discover on their own.

Customized bubbles: users can now customize bubble colors and backgrounds for each conversation, going beyond the traditional blue and green. This feature helps differentiate conversations and avoid confusion.

Reaction effects: when a user responds to a message with a popular emoji such as 👍 or ❤️, animated hands or other visual effects dance around the message bubble, adding dynamics to the chat.

Animated emojis: allows you to add larger, animated emojis to your chat in addition to standard ones to emphasize your emotion or feeling.

Profiles: This option allows users to personalize their profile name and picture by linking them to a phone number, which increases recognition in group chats and other Google services.

These new features are already available to users of the beta version of the Google Messages app. Users can either join the testing of the new features or wait until they become available in the final version of the app on Google Play.