This is still under review by the feature team.
Do you know what face I make when I realize that it's 2019 and Teams still doesn't support the full unicode emoji set? .... Well I can't express it to you on Teams because Teams doesn't have this emoji: https://emojipedia.org/expressionless-face/
I disagree that Slack is better, but I do agree that if animating them is holding this back, then ditch the animations and bring in the full standard set used in other Microsoft products. It's honestly getting a little borderline embarassing to not have support for the standard unicode emojis in 2019 when all my browsers and operating systems do out of the box.
I don't mind the animated ones, but priority should be parity with every other communication platform. *Then* work on a special set of animated ones and release the full set when they're ready.
80 votesJason commented
If you could switch "like" for "mark as read" that would be awesome.