In recent versions of the Messages app for iOS and iPadOS, you can send full-screen animated messages. After composing a message, long-press the send button, tap Screen at the top of the view, and then swipe to select animations like echo, bubbles, and spotlight.
Apple also automatically animates messages that contain the words or phrases “happy birthday” (with balloons), “congratulations” (with confetti), and “Happy New Year” (with fireworks).
As the person receiving these exciting (?) animations, you might find them distracting or even headache-inducing. Apple lets you prevent these animations from playing automatically, but you won’t find the setting in Settings > Messages. Rather, it’s under Accessibility in the set of controls that allow reducing and eliminating motion.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Motion and disable Auto-Play Message Effects. While you’re there, review other settings to see if you’d prefer less (or more) animation, fades, and effects.
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