Oh finally, it seems that all our prayers have been answered by the messaging gods. We can now finally breath a sigh of relief and end the controversy over the arrival of native GIF support in WhatsApp itself. The messaging app now not only natively supports GIF but also provides you with the option to upload and send GIFs as well. GIFs..GIFs..GIFs!!

We had previously seen and sensed the quasi-implementation of GIFs in the form of a work-around that allowed you to record short 6 second videos, convert them to GIFs and send it out any of your contacts. But, today’s beta update sways right past this feature to unleash the true power and might of animated GIFs in the messaging app.

After the arrival of the Snapchat-like photo editing features in the main app today, Whatsapp has now released the next beta update for its messaging app. This beta version 2.16.293 finally adds the much requested third GIFs tab in the Gallery option — used to attach photos and videos to your messages.

It is the location where you’ll find all animated GIFs that are saved to your device’s storage, and they’ll be tagged with a small GIF sign at the bottom — to help you recognize them. You can then go ahead to pick any one of them, preview it, and add a line to text before forwarding it to a contact or a group of friends. All GIFs received by you will be saved in the ‘WhatsApp Animated Gifs’ folder, which is also accessible from the third tab or a file explorer.

Credits: The Tech Portal // not to be reused without permission
Credits: The Tech Portal // not to be reused without permission

The animations you send forth will also be tagged as a GIF and viewable right inside the chat window itself. You wouldn’t need to move from one screen to another to view the animated GIF. But an important fact worth noting though is that the GIFs are still not being saved as animated files in your storage. WhatsApp is still compressing the GIF files into .mp4 files, which are more data-friendly.

This essentially corroborates the existence of the video recording workaround that allows you to send mp4 files, but they behave like GIFs within the chat window. So, this means we shouldn’t outright deny the possibility of the arrival of the video workaround — which allows you to record live videos and convert them to GIFs — as a feature addition in future builds.

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