WhatsApp first introduced GIFs to the Android platform via a beta build back in September in an apparent move to take on popular selfie-sharing app Snapchat. Now, WhatsApp is rolling out the public release of the feature but this time to iOS devices.
WhatsApp GIF Support With Add-Ons
Observers note that the GIF feature for Apple devices has been quite late to the party. This is further punctuated by the fact that GIF support has been late in coming to the WhatsApp platform to begin with. So, to sweeten the deal, WhatsApp is including cool add-on features that could appease its iOS fans.
For example, aside from creating their own GIFs, iOS users can also find materials in the humungous GIF databases of Giphy and Tenor. WhatsApp is also throwing in a powerful GIF editor so users can easily add captions, annotations, scribbles and drawings to their animated loops.
How To Create A GIF
To create a GIF, users will need a six-second video or less from the Camera Roll. Once this is opened at the GIF editor, they can toggle a switch at the top right corner of the editor's interface. This will instantly convert the video to an endlessly looping format, with option to edit it with stickers and drawings. After saving the GIF, it can now be sent to any WhatsApp contact.
Another way to create a GIF is to simply send a Live Photo. This can be done by attaching one to a WhatsApp message. Once the Photo/Video Library pops up, the user will have to 3D Touch a Live Photo and tap the "Select as GIF" option.
Users should take note that, in order to access the new GIF feature, they will have to update their apps to WhatsApp's build 2.16.15. It is interesting to know that this iOS release offers more functionalities than the Android variant, which has very limited GIF-tweaking features.
Upcoming Instant Messaging Features
The GIF support is reportedly just one of the changes that the Facebook-owned company is planning for the instant messaging app. There are reports that a video calling feature is already in the pipeline. There are also rumors that indicate it will soon get a feature called Status, which is similar to a Snapchat feature that allows users to send doodles or hand-written messages.
There is still no official word confirming the release schedules of these upcoming features. Video calling, however, is already available in the Android version and this even feature an E2EE encryption. Given the state of competition in the instant messaging sphere, those will probably come sooner than expected.