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This hidden iMessage emoji trick blew my mind

Published Apr 1st, 2024 2:55PM EDT
iOS 17.2 iMessage sticker reaction
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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When it comes to texting, there are probably two types of messages one can receive: messages you’ll struggle to find the right emoji for, or messages where a single emoji isn’t enough to quickly convey your reaction. The latter is the easiest to fix. All you have to do is put all those emoji reactions one after the other. But what if you could stack them on top of each other?

That’s the awesome iMessage emoji feature that everyone should know about. And I say that as a longtime iPhone user whose job is to know all the secrets each iOS release has to deliver. Well, I never thought of this one, combining multiple emojis to provide the perfect reaction. But it turns out it’s something that you can do on the iPhone without any third-party apps.

This trick comes from a Redditor who posted a screenshot of a conversation featuring one such emoji combination:

You can create the perfect emoji reactions in iMessage on iPhone by combining multiple emoji.
You can create the perfect emoji reactions in iMessage on iPhone by combining multiple emoji. Image source: Reddit

Yes, they’re brilliant and quite easy to pull off. You don’t need a separate app to combine emojis, only the iPhone’s iMessage app.

Here’s how easy it is to set it all up. First, you post one of the emojis you want to use as a reply to the text you’ve just received. Then, you select another emoji from the keyboard and drag it towards the first emoji.

Drop the second one on top of the first, and move it around to achieve the desired result. It’s that easy, and it will likely surprise most people. Again, I’m a longtime iPhone user and I never even thought of using emojis like stickers. I’ll line them up if I feel that’s the warranted response, but that’s about it.

I must admit I haven’t played around too much with stickers in iMessage, which could have been one way to discover this hidden emoji trick. It turns out that emojis behave like stickers, and that’s why you can stack them.

It’s worth noting that some third-party messaging apps might also support this feature, but not all of them. For example, WhatsApp doesn’t support the combined emoji trick.

Not only does it work in Apple’s Messages app with multiple emojis, but it also works with stickers and emojis, as seen in some of the demo videos that Redditors have been posting on the thread. Here’s one such example, with three emojis stacked on top of a sticker:

Combining multiple emoji with a sticker in iMessage on the iPhone.
Combining multiple emojis with a sticker in iMessage on the iPhone. Image source: Imgur

That’s how simple it all is. As a reminder, you can make stickers out of everything in iMessage, which lets you personalize reactions even further. Add an emoji on top, and your replies will reach a whole new level.

I’ll also say that you can rearrange the stacked emoji later, after you’ve stacked them. Plus, the emoji combo will appear in iMessage on other devices, including Mac computers.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.