A lot of instant messaging apps include GIF support. If you share a GIF with your contacts, they can watch the animation in the app instead of using a browser to watch it.
This wasn’t the case with WhatsApp. But not anymore.
Whatsapp to Finally Add GIF Support
The latest Beta change notes for the iOS version of WhatsApp indicate that it indeed has GIF support in it. This information was discovered by the Twitter handle @WABetaInfo which tracks the changes in WhatsApp beta updates.
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) June 7, 2016
The account notes that version 126.96.36.199 of WhatsApp will autoplay GIF links and embed them directly into the conversations. However, it doesn’t support sharing a saved GIF animation directly.
Its not even close to the complete GIF support offered by apps like Telegram, Wire or Messenger, but at least its a step in the right direction.
You won’t have to open your browser whenever you want to watch a GIF shared by your friends or family members anymore.
What Else Has Been Added?
Aside from the GIF support, there was also another thing mentioned in the beta changelog. It will allow saving of GIF animations “as a simple image”.
This move seems a little odd considering the purpose of a GIF animation is to watch images in motion and not to be viewed as a single image.
Neverthless, having limited GIF support in WhatsApp is a welcome change. Hopefully other useful features (like stickers) will also be added soon.
You can check the beta changelog here.
Via The Next Web