An upcoming update to WhastApp will finally enable Android users to send videos as animated GIFs, making their conversations livelier and more fun.

Animated GIFs have been constantly gaining ground and have grown to be an important way of communicating for netizens. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and various other sites and platforms have already been supporting GIFs for a good while now, but WhatsApp is late to the party.

Although WhatsApp doesn't support GIFs on Android just yet, the good news is that it will roll out the option in the near future. The latest WhastApp Beta for Android includes the feature, which means that it shouldn't take too long before it becomes available to the general public.

So far, WhatsApp users on Android had no options to send GIFs unless they rooted their devices. However, Android Police reports that with the latest WhatsApp 2.16.244 beta installed on an unrooted Android device, creating and sending GIFs is a breeze. To do so, just tap the paperclip icon in a conversation thread, go to Camera, tap Record Video, and tap OK once you're done recording. WhatsApp will give you the option to trim your video, and if you make it 6 seconds or shorter, the camcorder icon will turn into a GIF and you'll be able to send your newly trimmed video as a GIF.

If you want to convert an existing video from your phone into a GIF, you can follow the same trimming procedure, editing the video to 6 seconds or less to convert it into a GIF.

It's worth pointing out that your GIF videos will appear as MP4, but they will actually be received as GIFs.

The new GIF capability may help appease customers who are unhappy about WhatsApp's new policy of sharing user information with Facebook. As part of "coordinating" more with its parent company, Facebook, WhatsApp will share users' phone numbers and personal information to help the social network build better targeted ads.

Fortunately, users have the option to opt out of WhatsApp data sharing with Facebook.

While this new privacy policy is one of those updates that stir more criticism than acclaim, the upcoming GIF feature will likely be a welcome one. To try it out before the official rollout, you can either download the APK for the latest beta or join the WhatsApp beta program for Android on Google Play.

It remains to be seen whether the feature will work better than the iOS WhatsApp GIFs, but the beta should clear some hiccups before the app is ready for prime time.

If you've already got the new WhatsApp beta for Android and toyed around with GIFs, drop by our comment section below and let us know what you think of it.

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