Emojis are continuing their incursion into every online space. You can react to Facebook posts, you can react to Instagram messages, and pretty soon, you’ll be able to react to content in Google Docs.
In a Google Workspace Update on Tuesday, Google unveiled a emoji reactions feature for Docs. While you already have the option to insert emojis into the text of a document or into a comment, the new feature will allow you to react directly to highlighted text using Google’s handy sidebar when using a browser. The emojis available in Google Docs are from version 14.0, which was released last September, and include gender neutral and gender modifiable options.
The feature’s rollout starts today. You’ll be able to react to sections of text with a thumbs up, a Flamenco dancer, or a train. In an update that did not itself include any emojis, the company explained the decision to add the new feature to what most people know as a piece of work or school software.
“Giving and receiving feedback is a key collaborative workflow in Google Docs. The new emoji reactions feature provides a less formal alternative to comments to express your opinions about document content,” Google said on its blog.
Emoji reactions — which will be available to all users— have already begun to roll out for rapid release domains. They will be launched gradually on scheduled release domains beginning on April 20.
The new emoji feature is the latest in a slew of updates for Google Workspace and Google Docs, including markdown support (for formatting preferences), the ability to start a Google Meet video chat in Docs, pageless view, and assisted writing suggestions.
As someone who works in Google Docs on a weekly basis, I like the idea of emoji reactions. I’m not sure my editor, who read this story before you did, will like the idea of me having more emoji power, since I’m one of those who includes an emoji (or three emojis) in nearly every single message on Slack.