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How to Like and React to Texts on Android: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide

Do you ever wish you could do more than just reply "LOL" or "haha" when you get a funny text? Or that you could quickly react to a heartwarming message from a loved one without having to type out a lengthy response?

Well, now you can! Android devices finally have the capability to react and "like" messages with emoji, thanks to RCS messaging.

In this simple guide, I‘ll show you how to add some extra fun and flair to your texting game by liking and reacting to SMS/MMS messages on your Android phone or tablet.

Why Text Reactions are Useful

Before we dive in, let‘s look at why text reactions can be so handy:

  • Quick engagement – You can instantly respond to any message without typing
  • Express emotions – Emojis convey feelings better than text alone
  • Feel connected – Seeing someone liked your text feels more personal
  • Fun interactions – Reactions make texting more lively and enjoyable

Whether you want to give a quick laugh at a joke or show appreciation for a thoughtful message, text reactions enable you to communicate more efficiently and expressively.

Now let‘s look at how Android devices can utilize this great feature.

The Evolution of Texting: From SMS to RCS

Text messaging capabilities on Android phones have improved vastly over the years. To understand how reactions are now possible, let‘s compare the messaging technologies:

SMS Texting

SMS (Short Message Service) has been around since the beginning of mobile phones. With SMS:

  • Messages limited to 160 plain text characters
  • No media attachments like photos or videos
  • No capabilities beyond simple text

MMS Messaging

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) upgraded SMS by allowing:

  • Media attachments – photos, audio, video, GIFs
  • Longer messages with more characters
  • Group chatting and subject line

But SMS and MMS still lacked features standard in chat apps, like:

  • Typing indicators
  • Read receipts
  • Reactions and likes

Rich Communication Services

This is where RCS enters to bridge the gap. RCS (Rich Communication Services) is a protocol that enriches SMS/MMS with new chat capabilities through data connectivity.

With RCS messaging enabled, Android devices gain all the features that were missing before:

  • Reactions and likes
  • Read receipts
  • Typing indicators
  • High-res photo/video sharing
  • File sharing up to 100 MB
  • Enhanced group chatting

This finally brings Android native messaging up to speed with other chat apps in terms of functionality.

As of 2022, over 500 million Android users worldwide have access to RCS messaging through their device and carrier.

Major phone brands like Samsung, Google Pixel, OnePlus, Motorola and more now ship with RCS enabled out of the box.

Thanks to RCS adoption, text reactions are now available natively on Android messaging.

Comparing Key Features Across Platforms

Here‘s an overview of how the different messaging technologies stack up in terms of key capabilities:

Feature SMS MMS RCS iMessage
Read receipts
Typing indicators
High-res photos
Video sharing
File sharing Limited
max. msg length 160 1600 No limit No limit

This gives you an idea of how RCS messaging gives Android native texting many of the key features that were previously only available on other platforms like iMessage.

Next let‘s look at how to actually use text reactions on your Android device.

Step 1: Open Your Messages App

To get started reacting, you first need to open the Messages app on your Android:
Open Android Messages app
This is the default messaging application that came pre-installed on your phone. The reactions feature won‘t work in third-party apps.

Once you have Messages open, you can move on to finding the text conversation you want to react to.

Step 2: Open the Text Chat Thread

In your Messages overview, you‘ll see a list of your various text conversation threads with contacts.

Tap on any thread to open it:
Open a text chat thread on Android
This can be an existing chat or a new one you start. You‘re now ready to react to any incoming or outgoing texts.

Step 3: Long Press the Text to Select Reaction

Here comes the fun part! To react to a text, simply long press the message. This means touching and holding your finger on it:
Long press a text message to react on Android
After about a second, a pop-up will appear with different emoji reactions to choose from:
Select a reaction emoji on Android
As you can see, there are options like thumbs up, laughter, surprise, sadness, and anger.

Go ahead and select whichever emoji best matches your reaction!

The emoji will then appear next to that text message in your chat:
Emoji reaction sent on Android text
And that‘s all there is to it! With just a simple long press, you can now react to texts quickly and easily.

Pro Tips for Mastering Text Reactions

Now that you know how to do reactions, here are some expert tips to use them effectively:

  • You can go back and change your reaction – just long press again and pick something new.
  • To remove a reaction, select the same emoji a second time.
  • Multiple people can react to the same text.
  • The sender gets notified when you react to their message.
  • Reactions only work on RCS Android devices for now. No iPhone support yet.
  • Both you and the recipient need RCS enabled through your phone and carrier.
  • You can react to any message type – texts, photos, videos, GIFs, audio, etc. Anything in the chat!
  • If reactions don‘t appear, make sure Chat features are enabled in your Messages settings.
  • Tap and hold a reaction to see who reacted and add your own.

With these pro tips, you can take your text reaction game to the next level!

The Future Possibilities of RCS Messaging

One major limitation right now is that RCS reactions only work when messaging between Android devices.

Due to technical differences between RCS and iMessage, you can‘t see reactions cross-platform between Android and iOS.

However, Google has stated they are open to working with Apple to make RCS and iMessage interoperable in the future.

If the two platforms were to connect, it would enable:

  • Cross-platform reactions and likes
  • Typing indicators between operating systems
  • Faster sharing of high-quality photos and video
  • Better group chat alignment between Android and iOS

While we aren‘t there yet, the hope is Android and iOS messaging will someday work seamlessly together. But for now, you can enjoy unified reactions between all your fellow Android friends!


Being able to quickly react and "like" text messages on Android makes conversing more fun and expressive. It allows you to respond instantly without typing out long replies.

With RCS adoption growing, hundreds of millions of Android users can now take advantage of the same messaging capabilities that were previously iPhone-exclusive.

Just open your Messages app, tap a chat thread, and long press any text to pull up reaction emoji. Select the one that fits your response and watch the conversation come alive!

Text reactions on Android offer a whole new way to engage with friends, family, co-workers and more. Give it a try and see how it can add some extra fun to your daily chats!