How to use iMessage’s secret effects

March 3, 2021

Add flair to your messages with these effects.

iMessage is the main messaging app for iOS and aside from showing you SMS messages, you can take advantage of advanced chat tools that make it an ideal choice when talking to friends and family. While the only drawback is that these are only enabled on Apple devices, they’re still cool especially when you’re engaged in a conversation.

Some of these effects can be accessed before sending your message, but there are actually secret words that automatically add an effect every time you type them. Note that you need to have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and a Mac with iMessage enabled to be able to use the effects. 

Here is how you can access them:

Open up the Messages app and select a contact. The contact needs to have iMessage enabled for you to send effects. If iMessage is enabled on the receiver’s iPhone, their name will appear blue. If not, it will be green, meaning you can only send SMS.

Typing ‘Congratulations’ will send the message with a bunch of confetti.

Typing ‘Pew pew’ will send the message with a laser lightshow.

Typing ‘Happy birthday’ will send the message with balloons.

Typing ‘Happy New Year’ will send the message with fireworks.

If you have an iPhone 7 or later, the Taptic Engine will also have special haptic feedback that goes with these effects.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.