It’s no secret that Google has been leaning heavily into the use of emojis and working diligently to add Emoji options to all their apps. Although Chat within Google Workspace has had the use of emoji enabled for a while now, Google has announced that support for custom emoji has begun to roll out. Now, everyone in a company can see and use the custom emojis that coworkers upload to Chat messages and reactions.
According to Google, Custom emojis are one of their most-requested features. For the end-users, the process of using a custom emoji will be as easy as navigating to the “Custom Emojis” tab within the emoji picker in messages and reactions. Everyone in an organization will be able to see and use custom emojis created, but can only be used in conversations without guests or external participants.
The feature will be ON by default, but Admins will have the option to limit who can create these new custom emojis, designate emoji managers, or simply turn the feature OFF for everyone at the OU level. Those that have access to create custom emojis will need to upload them via the web versions or Chat or Gmail by navigating to the “Create” button in the emoji picker.
The admin controls for this feature will roll out first beginning on October 24th for both Rapid and Scheduled release domains in order to give admins time to sort out whether they want this feature to be on or not, and if so, who will be the managers. The rest of the organization on the Rapid Release track will start seeing this feature beginning on November 8, 2022, whereas the Scheduled Release track will follow on November 30, 2022. Both release tracks will undergo a gradual rollout of up to 15 days. The feature will be available to all Google Workspace customers but not personal Google accounts.
There is currently no option to create the custom emoji from scratch using the emoji picker like you can using Gboard and Emoji Kitchen. However, this seems like the next natural step. I can see this being used in organizations that have a strong company culture that is represented via their logos or other visuals. It would be interesting to see what sort of traction this new feature gets.