How to send exploding captions in Apple iPhone’s iMessage

Whose dog is this?
Gif: Gizmodo

My conversations with friends have evolved to the point where we barely communicate. Instead of expressing our love or pity for the suffering that is the human experience, our daily interactions are a toss-up for who can make the best joke or see the best meme. The meme wars are fierce and when all else fails, the exploding text is my secret weapon. When you implement it tactfully, nothing is more fun. Even your most online friends may not know about it.

Sending exploding captions is easy, you just combine a few lesser used iPhone features. The hard part is choosing the perfect image. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that. You either have the tube or you don’t.

You can make any image explode, but the effect works best if you remove the background of an image and just use the silhouette of the main thing in it. Apple’s Photos app will do it automatically. This is also useful for many other purposes. Unfortunately for all the Android fans out there, all of this only works between iPhones. Tim Cook may not love you if you’re reading this on a Pixel or a Samsung, but I still do.

Open the photo using the iPhone’s default Photos app; this part does not work elsewhere. Then tap and hold the part of the image you want to cut out. The image should pop out almost immediately, with a white outline flashing across it. The app can’t do this with every image, so if you can’t get it to happen at first, try another picture. The Photos app tends to handle it better when an object or person is clearly the subject of the photo, as opposed to something like a group photo with friends.

Then hit Copy – for some reason this doesn’t work if you use the Share button. Now open a text thread with your victim in iMessage and paste the image into the send field.

Get your trigger finger ready and hold the Send button. There are a few effects to choose from. For example, “Slam” slaps the image down on the screen, and Invisible Ink hides it behind a sparkling filter. That’s amateur class. What you want is an explosion. Tap “Screen” at the top. “Send With Echo” is the first effect in that category, and it’s the one you want.

Then hit send and boom, exploding message. Now you are the funniest person in the group chat. It is up to you whether you want to gatekeep this banned technique or tell your friends how to do it (just for fun, please send them this article. I need the advertising money to feed my family).

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