Apple’s latest iOS 17 update introduced FaceTime Reactions, which are animated effects that appear on the screen during video chat or video messages.

These reactions are similar to popular emojis – hearts, fireworks, and thumbs up. Sometimes they can serve as expressive substitutes for written responses or, in the case of FaceTime, emphasize your body language with 3D animations.

However, during video calls, these animated effects are slightly different. You can activate them manually or using gestures. For example, you can create a heart shape with your hands, and small red hearts will start to burst out of the middle. These three-dimensional animated reactions will also appear in macOS Sonoma and iPadOS 17.

The most reliable way to make a visual reaction appear on the screen during a FaceTime call is to tap on your picture during the call. A pop-up menu will appear above you. You’ll see eight reactions to choose from.

You can select the “thumbs” or “thumbs down” icon so that a tooltip with the corresponding symbol appears next to your face. Tap the heart and a trail of red hearts will appear on the screen. To show your passion, you can choose a balloon icon or confetti symbol to trigger a color display on the screen. You can also make the screen dark and gloomy by tapping the rain icon.

The on-screen effect will last a few seconds for you and anyone on the other side of the FaceTime call.

As a reminder, new emojis will appear soon. These include head shaking and different family sizes.

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