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WhatsApp releases new update for your holiday GIF-giving

Michael Simon | Dec. 7, 2016
The feature was previously available only to beta users.

If you haven’t been running the WhatsApp Messenger beta on your phone, you might not know that you’ve been missing out on the wide world of GIFs. The feature's been available since November for iOS users and in beta testing for several months on Android, but the FaceBook-owned company has just unlocked the feature for everyone in its latest Play Store update.

It’s easy to use. Simply click on the familiar paperclip icon you use to attach photos and videos and you’ll see a GIFS section. Inside you’ll find any short animations you’ve saved to your camera roll, and you need only select one to send it to a friend. On the receiving end, GIFs you get will be adorned with a badge that needs to be tapped before it starts playing—a good feature for those of us with GIF-happy friends. Also baked into this month’s update is in-line streaming, eliminating the need to download a video before it begins playing.

By and large Android’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp hasn’t been resting on its laurels. In addition to GIFs, last month it debuted the long-awaited video calling feature, and earlier this year it introduced end-to-end encryption. Furthermore, the company is testing two-factor authentication in its latest beta.

The impact on you at home: WhatsApp boasts more than a billion users worldwide, and there’s a good chance you or someone you know is using it. So why shouldn’t everyone enjoy a good laugh from a timely GIF?


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