On SixColors yesterday, Dan Moren posted an article explaining what may prevent “iMessage effects” from displaying on your device. Unwittingly, he also provided the key to turning off these annoyances.
These effects are things like bubbles and balloons that may spawn on your iOS device when someone sends you certain types of messages. Apple describes them here.
The last thing I want when I get a text message is to have to watch balloons or see some inane moving emoji. So it’s great to know there’s a way to turn them off.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, and toggle that setting on. This turns off a number of annoying animations on the device, and I already have it off, so I’m immune to these annoyances. But if you want to get rid of them before they start happening, take action now!