After what seemed like a really long time, WhatsApp finally introduced GIF support in its app in November last year. iPhone users got it first, and in December, Android users received the WhatsApp GIF support update as well. Now, the instant messaging app has gone a step further and integrated GIF search into the app, and also raised the media sharing limit from 10 files to 30 files, on WhatsApp beta app for Android.
WhatsApp beta v2.17.6 for Android has brought the ability to search for GIF images and use them in chat conversations. A new GIF icon now appears at the bottom when you tap on the emoji button in WhatsApp.
Opening the GIF section in WhatsApp throws a lot of popular GIF sharing options available on Giphy (as seen above). You can even search for related GIFs on WhatsApp using keywords, select the one you like, and send to users without leaving the app even once. Notably, not all 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 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 directly from the phone, and now integration of Giphy makes GIF-sharing extremely seamless.
The updated beta app also brings a significant change with respect to WhatsApp image sharing. 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 bulk image sharing was a quite a task on WhatsApp. 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, and send bulk images to your friends, join the WhatsApp beta testing community on Google Play.