WhatsApp rolled out support for GIF images in its iPhone app in Novemver last year starting, followed by the Android app a month later. Now, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has expanded the feature by integrating a GIF search keyboard into the messaging app with the WhatsApp for Android beta version. Alongside this, the WhatsApp beta has also increased the number of media files that can be shared at a time from 10 to 30 files.
The new WhatsApp beta v2.17.6 for Android has introduced a new feature that allows users to search for GIF images directly from the app, and use them in chat conversations. It can be found on the web and use it in chat conversations seamlessly. A new GIF icon now appears at the bottom when you tap on the emoji button.
Opening the GIF section on WhatsApp throws a lot of popular GIF sharing options available on Giphy (as seen above). You can even search for related GIFs using keywords, select the one you like, and send to WhatsApp users without leaving the app even once. Notably, not all WhatsApp users are seeing Giphy as the GIF image search integration – one of our team for example, is seeing the TENOR GIF search (seen below) instead – possibly because he uses that GIF keyboard on Facebook Messenger. Uninstalling Facebook Messenger did not cause WhatsApp to throw up the Giphy option instead.
When WhatsApp GIF support first launched, users could convert live images or videos into short GIFs and send them on WhatsApp. Later, you could even share saved GIFs with WhatsApp users directly from the phone, and now integration of Giphy makes GIF-sharing extremely seamless.
Furthermore, a significant change with respect to image sharing on WhatsApp has been introduced. The ceiling limit of sharing 10 photos at a time via WhatsApp has been increased to 30. This change will be greatly welcomed by users, as sharing bulk images on WhatsApp was a tedious task due to the cap. This raise in ceiling limit will smooth things out a bit.
As we said, all of the above mentioned features are in Android beta version 2.17.6, and should arrive on the stable version soon. For now, if you want to experience seamless GIF searching and sharing on WhatsApp, and send bulk images to your friends, join the WhatsApp beta testing community on Google Play.