WhatsApp for iOS' latest beta release (v18.104.22.168) is now doing the rounds, and apart from numerous bug fixes and improvements, it brings support for autoplaying gif images. The Facebook-owned messaging app has staunchly resisted the gif invasion till date, and support for sharing animated images will certainly be a welcome feature addition for users.
For now, it's unclear when gif image support will roll out to users of the general release, or when it will release on Android. The changes in the latest beta release of WhatsApp for iOS were reported by @WABetaInfo, which tracks beta releases of the app.
Changes listed by the team include support for autoplaying gif images when shared as a link, the ability to save the gif image to your camera roll (including the option to save it as a simple image), the ability to directly reply to gif image messages, encryption support for gif sharing, and support for Peek and Pop (3D Touch) actions on gif images.
News of planned support for gif images in WhatsApp comes shortly after rival messaging service Viber brought gif image support to its platform. Most other rival platforms (including Facebook Messenger) already support gif image sharing.
Another major feature addition expected to arrive soon for WhatsApp is video calling, with plenty of evidence in beta releases pointing to the company's plans for the feature.