Google Messages will let you record 3-second “selfie GIFs” (U)

After adding a custom camera, Google Messages should be rolling out “Selfie GIFs.”

Update 5/8: Selfie GIFs are rolling out to the Google Messages beta channel (version 20240506_01_RC00). Long press – which isn’t particularly intuitive – the gallery icon and a circular preview will appear in the center of your screen. There are also “Send a Kiss” and “Draw a Heart” suggestion bullets.

You can switch between front and rear camera. Press the record button with a circular indicator showing how much time you have left.

Update 5/2: Google describes Selfie GIFs as a way to “add a fun personal touch to your chats by recording a 3-second animated video that you can share.” If the video below is accurate, it will also be sent and appear in a circular manner.

We’ve seen various prompts online to launch it – “Send a kiss” and “Draw a heart” – but it doesn’t work yet. Officially, this feature is “currently in beta”.

Original 04/17: To access it, open a conversation and long-press the camera icon in the text field. For now, a single click opens the pane with a miniature camera viewfinder and drop-down gallery. The fact that Selfie GIF is not part of the new custom camera is somewhat strange.

Google also says “you can also record a selfie GIF by tapping a prompt in the conversation.” This looks like one of the suggested action prompts, which already include Attach Recent Photos, Share Location, and Start a Video Call.

You will get a brief countdown with the recording automatically starting and ending. It’s also possible to press the red button to start recording manually, as well as restart since there are no editing controls. These Selfie GIFs are only 3 seconds long and saved to your camera roll for easy access to share.

I can see how this could be fun and giving people a GIF maker might encourage them to try capturing Vine-like photos.

A support article for this new feature is now live, but we don’t see Selfie GIF rolling out to devices (beta or stable) yet. This marks the latest expressive feature in Google Messages and reminds me of Voice Moods, which has only rolled out to select users. Oddly enough, Google seems to have launched the audio recorder redesign for those on the stable channel, but most beta users don’t even have it.

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