WhatsApp has finally joined the GIF train, but only available to iOS users for now. If you an iPhone user, you will be able to send and receive unlimited Gifs from your friends. This probably should have been added long before now, but better late than never.
The new update comes with a powerful GIF editor, which lets you add captions, stickers and drawings to your animation. The editor also allows you to trim your clips to your desired length.
There is even more; the latest version of WhatsApp also lets you convert your videos not longer than 6 seconds into GIFs before sending them to the recipient. Turning your short video clip into GIF is easy too; select a clip from your camera roll and tap the GIF toggle to convert it.
The new GIF feature still has a long way before it compares to similar features on both Facebook and Twitter. For instance, it doesn’t support GIF search, but since it is the first time users are being allowed to use it on the chat app, we might as well spare WhatsApp all the criticism. We could probably see an update or addition of that feature in future updates.
One area of the new update users might struggle with a bit is sending GIFs—not really as easy how it is done in other apps. To make it easier, you might need to install the Giphy app. The Giphy library has tons of GIFs where you can search for available ones to send to your friends. You can also send GIFs that have been stored on your handset.
In related news, WhatsApp is currently testing a Snapchat-like feature called ‘Status.’ The new feature which could be a part of the next updates to be released if all goes to plan, is hidden in the beta build of the chat app’s Android and iOS clients. If you are a beta tester, you can join others to give the feature a test before it hits a public launch maybe soon. You will also need a rooted Android phone or jailbroken iPhone; whichever sides of the divide you belong. Status is much like Snapchat’s or Instagram’s Stories and is aimed at letting users share multiple updates every day.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp is also testing video calling which enables select users of the famous chat app to make video calls. The feature, which currently works only on phones running on Android devices, has been enabled for a handful of users signed on to WhatsApp’s beta tester program. Though, a late starter, WhatsApp’s entrance into the field of video calling could give a lot of other apps a run for their money. The capacity is there, and there is no reason why users shouldn’t be able to make video calls on WhatsApp like they do when using other apps.
In June, WhatsApp announced that 100 million calls were being made on the app every day; which gives it a slight edge ahead of other chat apps.