- Google will let users insert emojis inline with text in Google Docs, the company announced Monday.
- While there are no admin controls for this feature, administrators can choose whether the update is on a rapid release timeline or a scheduled release timeline. For larger organizations, the company suggested admins select the scheduled release track and set up rapid release on a test account so that a few users can test the new features.
- Google is building upon its April update, which introduced emoji reactions in Google Docs. Before the newest release, users needed to hover over a message or existing anchor and click on an "Add reaction" icon. The recent update allows users to add emojis by entering “@” followed by a descriptor.
The inclusion of emojis is part of a wider trend demonstrating businesses have embraced — and will continue to embrace — less formal ways of communication.
“The world is moving to workplace messaging, to mobility and a certain way of communicating that is much more concise and rich than long-form, letter-based email,” Ian Tien, CEO of Mattermost, said. “People underestimate how vital emojis are.”
Emoji usage is certainly more common among young professionals, but seasoned professionals can use emojis to boost perception, a survey of almost 600 individuals by SurveyMonkey found. Over four in 10 respondents thought of their colleague as more approachable when using emojis, and over one-third perceived their colleague as kinder, according to the survey.
The increase of less formal communication comes as enterprise collaboration has evolved. Collaboration tool use grew 44% from 2019 to 2021, according to Gartner data. And many SaaS providers have started exploring external collaboration features.