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In brief: Have you ever felt the need to respond to an email with an instant laugh or sad face, as popularized by social media and messaging platforms? Probably not. Nevertheless, Microsoft is introducing them in a future update for Outlook that will add Facebook-style reactions.
Microsoft’s product roadmap shows a feature in development called “Outlook for the web: React to an email message.” It describes users being able to react to an email without sending one of their own through a range of reactions.
“Outlook on the web is expanding the existing ability to like email messages with a thumbs up icon. In addition to likes, users will be able to add sentiment for love, laughter, celebration, thanks or show sadness,” Microsoft writes.
Being able to Like an email has been a feature in Outlook for the web for years. Instead of writing a reply, you can click on the thumbs-up icon in the upper-right corner of an email. If someone Likes your message, a thumbs-up icon appears in the email with a number indicating how many Likes it received—you can also hover over the icon to see the names of those who Liked it.
It appears Microsoft decided just being able to show one’s appreciation for an email wasn’t enough and will be introducing a range of new emotions. They’re expected to arrive for the Outlook web app sometime in March.
The Like button still isn’t available on Outlook’s desktop app, so it seems the new reactions are also limited to the web version—which will probably come as welcome news to many users.
How do you feel about the merging of reactions and emails? A terrible idea or a natural evolution in keeping with the times?
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