Group Chats have to be one of the best perks of messaging over the internet. But we can’t also ignore the fact that group chats can get real messy sometimes, where important information gets lost in the sea of less important messages. Making sure that the right person sees the message can be a bit tricky.

And while some people would chime that you could always send them a personal message, that’s not really the point. What’s the point of the group chat if we have to send personal messages every time? And more often than not, you need them to see the message in the context of the group chat. Starting with iOS 14, this whole ordeal just got a lot better in iMessage.

You can now tag or mention people in iMessage group chats and also one-on-one chats. But obviously, they are more useful in group chats.

Who can you Mention in iMessage?

You can mention anyone in iMessage who is part of the conversation. So, for one-on-one chats, that includes only the other person. And for group chats, it includes anyone who is part of that group conversation. You cannot mention someone who’s not a member of the group without adding them to the group first.

There’s a bit of a snag in the whole process, though. At your end, there’s no need for the other person to be using iOS 14 for you to be able to mention them. All people in the conversation, regardless of the iOS they’re on, will be available for you to mention. But if the person is not using iOS 14, they will see it as a regular text only. And it could lead to miscommunication.

How to Mention Someone in iMessage

Tagging or mentioning someone in iMessage is rather easy. There are two ways you can mention someone, both equally convenient and quick.

When you’re composing the message, just compose it as you normally would, and then type the name of the person as it is saved in your contacts to mention them.

Unlike other messaging apps, you don’t necessarily have to type ‘@’ in iMessage to mention someone (although it works too). But just typing their full first name, last name, or the entire name (as saved in your contacts) anywhere in the message does the job. Remember, it has to be full, i.e., you cannot type a partial first or last name.

As soon as you type the name completely, it would turn grey.

Tap on the name or anywhere else in the message box, and their contact (name and photo/ initials) would appear. Tap on it to mention them.

If there is more than one person with the same name, then you’d get the option to choose who you want to mention. Tap on their name to select them.

You can also use the “@” symbol to mention someone. Type the “@” and follow it with their name. Again, you can type their full first name, last name, or entire name to mention them. With the @ symbol, the person would be mentioned as soon as you type the name and enter a space. Once you mention the person, the “@” symbol would disappear. It would be just like mentioning them normally.

But if there are two or more people with the same name, then even with “@”, you have to tap their name and then mention them. Otherwise, no one would be mentioned.

Note: As of iOS 14.2, mentioning people doesn’t work if you have their contact saved with an emoji. It worked previously on iOS 14 and 14.1. So, this could just be a bug that could go away in the future updates. Or it could be a deliberate update. We guess only time will tell.

What Happens when you Mention Someone?

What happens when you mention someone on iMessage depends on the situation. If they have the conversation open, nothing will happen except that their name will appear in the message in bolder blue letters.

But if the conversation is closed, they might get a notification that says “[Your Contact Info] Mentioned you – [Group Name]”. You would have noticed a reluctant “might” hanging out in the previous sentence; we’ll get to it in a moment.

Tapping the notification will take them to the exact message where you’ve mentioned them, regardless of how many other unread messages there are in the conversation. The message will show their name in bold, blue letters indicating to them that you’ve mentioned them. The message bubble will also appear highlighted for a moment in dark gray color before returning to normal.

Now, onto the matter of the “might”. Whether or not your contact will get a notification when you mention them depends on their settings. They will get a notification for a mention even if they have the conversation on DND but that’s the extent of it. By default, the iMessage setting is configured to deliver notifications for mentions even if you choose to hide alerts for a conversation. So, if haven’t tampered with any further settings, there’s a good chance they’ll get the notification.

But if they have all notifications for Messages entirely disabled, or their phone (not the conversation) is on DND, they won’t get a notification for the mention.

So, don’t go biting someone’s head off if they say they weren’t aware of the message. They might not have gotten the notification.

As for other people in the conversation, they will see the name of the person you mention in bold, but nothing special or different.

Can we Stop Someone from Mentioning Us?

Unfortunately, there’s no way of stopping someone from mentioning you in an iMessage right now; there’s no setting you can just turn off. But you can hide notifications for mentions.

Note that you can only hide alerts for mentions if the conversation is also on DND. But we reckon if the conversation is not on DND, any notifications for mentions would be just like notifications for other messages in the chat, and they wouldn’t bother you.

Go to your iPhone settings and scroll down to ‘Messages’ and tap on it.

The settings for messages will open. Scroll down and turn off the toggle for ‘Notify Me’.

Getting other people’s attention in a group chat can be tricky. But mentions in iMessage do make the whole task comparatively easy. Now, when the messages are piling up, and you’re doubting whether the other person would see that one message you need them to, you can just mention them. You can also mention multiple people in the same message in a group chat.