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WhatsApp users recently received good news when it was revealed that the popular messaging app will support in-app GIF search.

WhatsApp actually incorporated GIF support last year, but it only allowed users to share locally saved GIFs in conversations. The latest update takes things further by letting users search through GIFs without having to leave the app. They can now browse through Giphy’s large library, choose the GIF they want, and immediately send it to friends in one-on-one conversations or group chats.



To access this feature, users will need to open the text box, tap on the emoji button on the left side, and toggle between emojis and GIFs. It’s a bit similar to Facebook’s GIF feature: you’ll be given a list of the most popular GIFs, but you also have the option to search through the library with a specific keyword. You can even add a caption before you send the GIF.

This new feature is available in WhatsApp beta version 2.17.6, which means only beta testers can have access to it. However, it’s expected to be rolled out to the stable version in the coming weeks, allowing regular WhatsApp users to enjoy it.

Unfortunately, it seems that the GIF search update would be initially available to Android phones only. Those who are on iOS devices will have to wait for a few weeks longer than Android users to easily search through Giphy’s vast collection of GIFs without having to leave WhatsApp. For now, they can look for GIFs on the web, save it to their phones, and share the animated images through WhatsApp.

WhatsApp beta version 2.17.6 also gives users the ability to share 30 files at once. This is a huge improvement considering that previous versions allowed users to share only 10 files at a time. This is definitely good news for users who need to forward multiple files to coworkers or want to send lots of puppy or cat pictures to their friends.

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