How to Perform FaceTime Reaction Gestures on iPhone, iPad, & Mac

Nov 16, 2023 - 6 Comments

FaceTime Reaction Effects and Gestures

Apple has introduced all new reaction gestures for FaceTime on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, meaning if you make certain hand gestures, symbols, or movements, you will trigger a digital effect reaction. For example, if you make a thumbs up gesture with your hand, a thumbs up emoji will appear on the screen, or if you make a peace sign, you’ll trigger balloons effects on the screen.

Many of these reaction gesture triggers and effects work in FaceTime video calls, but also Zoom video conferences, and some other video chat apps too.

FaceTime Reaction Gestures and Their Effects

The FaceTime reaction gestures and their associated effects are as follows:

  • Thumbs up – thumbs up displayed on screen as emoji
  • Thumbs down – thumbs down emoji displayed on screen
  • Two thumbs up – fireworks effect
  • Two thumbs down – cloud effect
  • Peace sign with one hand – balloons effect
  • Peace sign with two hands – confetti effect
  • Heart shape using both hands, like this emoji 🫶 – heart emoji appears on screen
  • Rock on sign with both hands, like this 🤘🤘 – laser effect

You can also access all of these reaction effects in FaceTime and Zoom through the app and menu options, but the gesture recognition is new, and kind of fun to play around with.

Try these gesture out the next time you’re on a video chat, or a video conference, or a meeting.

FaceTime Reaction Gestures

Note that on the Mac, you will need macOS Sonoma 14.0 or later on an Apple Silicon Mac or better, why it’s not available for Intel Macs is a mystery but that’s the way it is and Apple likely wants to encourage Mac users to upgrade to their Apple Silicon architecture with amazing new features like this. For iPhone and iPad, you must have iOS 17 or newer, or iPadOS 17 or newer, to have access to this feature.

Will you be using FaceTime reaction gestures on your video calls and video chats? Are you thrilled to do two thumbs up on a video chat and have fireworks activate for everyone to see? Let us know what you think of these features in the comments.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Bob says:

    This is a stupid feature. I hope it’s turned off by default.

  2. Ed Horenburger says:

    Addendum to yesterday’s comment: Today I switched to Skype. There, this moronic nonsense is “your choice” to use or skip not Apple’s automatically activating. If I had known this was in iOS.17, I would still be on 16😡

  3. Ed Horenburger says:

    I would like to wholeheartedly agree w/Joe K. This nonsense is way beyond moronic. It really shows just how useless Apple products have become. Likewise for osxdaily for promoting this junk. I also want to know how to disable said MORON. My first reaction will be to stop buying these devices as presents for Friends & Family.

  4. Joe Kersey says:

    I think all this emoji stuff is moronic. I shall certainly NOT be engaging in any of this nonsense. Please tell us how to turn this “feature” off.

    • Taco Supreme Emoji says:

      I am just disappointed that if we make the “big belly” gesture than a pregnant man emoji does not appear on the screen. How do we petition Apple to introduce that as a reaction gesture? What if I eat too much on thanksgiving and need to demonstrate that I am pregnant with a large p** so I can share that with my coworkers at the next Zoom meeting? There is a p** emoji, and there is a pregnant man emoji, can we combine the two into a constipated i-ate-too-much-man emoji?

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