Didn't update to iOS 10 and my 7 is delayed so I haven't seen it but all these new chat features sound like things that have been available on WeChat for ages. Seeing as how China is their 2nd largest (largest?) market, I wouldn't be surprised if that factored in to their decision.
Personally, I prefer the way it's always been, clean and simple. I don't need exploding graphics wishing me merry Christmas or whatever.