In the latest WhatsApp beta update, version 2.17.110, users can now send GIFs using Google’s Gboard keyboard. Though WhatsApp has supported GIF searching and sharing for some months now, Gboard’s GIF panel was previously greyed out and unusable within the app. Instead, WhatsApp has its own GIF interface (which you can find beside the emoji menu if you haven’t checked it out already) which could be used for the same purpose.
It seemed inevitable that WhatsApp would integrate support for Gboard at some point, however, and now users can search for, insert and share GIFs without going near the regular WhatsApp interface.
Gboard support is available only in the latest WhatsApp beta for the time being, but you can sign up for the WhatsApp beta program if you want to make use of it now. Otherwise, look forward to it rolling out in the regular WhatsApp build in the coming weeks.
WhatsApp status updates
February 20: In a bid to further compete with Snapchat, WhatsApp has launched a new feature called Status. Like Snapchat Stories, the new status feature lets users share photos and videos with friends which will disappear after a short period of time. WhatsApp dropped its longstanding text-based status updates when it introduced the new format but, following user feedback, the company later reintroduced the static statuses too. Users can now use both features independently.
February 10: WhatsApp users can now enable two-step verification on their accounts for tighter security. It’s not setup automatically, nor does the app prompt you to do so, instead you’ll have to go to Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable. Then, add a six-digit PIN and backup email address and confirm. The next time you try to set up a device with your telephone number, you’ll be prompted for your PIN code.
WhatsApp adds new emoji from Android 7.1
February 4: All the Unicode 9 emoji introduced in Android 7.1 and iOS 10.2 have now been added to the WhatsApp beta app. With gender equality and new professions, to skin tones and more anthropomorphic figures, WhatsApp has an emoji to suit everyone.
WhatsApp adds GIF search
January 10: WhatsApp has added GIF search, finally bringing the most beloved of all animated images to the world’s most popular messaging platform. The file limit for sharing was also increased from 10 to 30.