WhatsApp for Android looks set to finally get support for sharing animated gif images or at least, to share videos as gif images (sort of). The new feature from WhatsApp will let users convert a video of 6 seconds or less to a gif image. The new gif image support is available to WhatsApp for Android users who are running beta versions 2.16.242 to 2.16.244. The latest beta version WhatsApp for Android version available on Google Play supports the gif image feature.
Android Police first reported that the gif image support was seen on the 2.16.242 beta version of WhatsApp for Android. Gadgets 360 however independently tested the gif image support on the 2.16.242 to 2.16.244 beta versions of WhatsApp for Android.
To send a gif image, WhatsApp for Android beta users will have to head to the attachment icon on top of a chat screen in the app. After selecting attachment, users will head to record video option and record a 6 second video (or less than 6 seconds). Before sending the recorded attachment, the trimming video page will appear with a camcorder icon on the top right corner of the page. On selecting the icon, the recorded video will convert into a gif image. Notably, the feature will also work when sharing existing videos from your gallery that are 6 seconds or less, or trimmed to be less by using WhatsApp's built-in video trimmer. It also works for when users are attaching am existing video from another app and sharing via WhatsApp. It's worth pointing that the camcorder icon doesn't appear for videos that haven't yet been trimmed in size to 6 seconds or less.
Android Police also points out that the files are actually converted and transmitted as audioless mp4 files that auto-play inline in the chat window. The files users receive or send are saved in WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Animated Gifs as mp4 files as well. Only on the front end do users receive a notification that a gif image has been received, which was also shows in the Chat tab.
To recall, WhatsApp was first rumoured to add gif image support back in June. The feature however was then expected to land on iOS first. Unfortunately, there is no word when the feature will reach iOS users.
WhatsApp recently added the call back and voicemail feature to its Android app. The feature arrived on iPhone devices first, and later rolled out for Android users via Google Play.