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WhatsApp adds Giphy GIF search to latest beta

After enjoying its busiest ever day on New Year’s Eve, WhatsApp has turned its attention to the most important feature of the modern messenger — GIF support.

In the company’s latest beta for Android, the app now boasts its own GIF searching function.

A video posted by Burn Media (@burnmedia) on

According to Android Police, the app asks the emoji button to pull double duty. Tapping on it opens what we’ll call the “reaction” interface, which allows users to choose between inserting a GIF from Giphy, Tenor or an emoji.

WhatsApp’s new Giphy-powered GIF search function lets users add cute owl loops from within the app

This is pretty big news for those who previously toiled saving GIFs directly to their phones from the likes of Giphy’s standalone app or, heaven forbid, their actual mobile browser.

The new embedded search feature joins the GIF support the company added to its app in November 2016.

For those who don’t care much for GIFs (shame on you), WhatsApp has also increased its image sharing limit. Previously, users could only send 10 images in one go, but the company has increased that number by 20.

This is also pretty great for those who specialise in making their own GIFs.

Of course, these features aren’t yet available in the stable Android app, but it’s clear that the Facebook-owned messenger will be including both sooner rather than later.

If you’re one to always stay ahead of the curve, you can play around with version 2.17.8 beta for Android here.

You can also enroll in WhatsApp’s official pre-release testing channel via the Google Play Store here.

Edit, 13 January, 12.40pm: Clarified that WhatsApp’s GIF search functionality is powered by both Giphy and Tenor.

Author | Andy Walker: Gearburn Editor

Andy Walker: Gearburn Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone and game reviews over on Gearburn. More