WhatsApp is finally joining the rest of us in the GIF party. It’s late, sure, but now a billion+ people have a way to quickly search for and share a Beyonce GIF as a response. And you can’t really put a price on that.
If you’re running version 2.16.16 and up, you’ll now be able to search for GIFs (from the GIPHY database), edit and annotate GIFs and send them right from WhatsApp. You’ll also be able to share your Live Photos as GIFs (finally) and convert any video under 6 seconds and share a GIF as well.
GIFs don’t autoplay in WhatsApp (thankfully). They’ll show up in the conversation with a “GIF” tag in the center. Tap on the image and it will start playing. Tap again to stop.
But where is this feature? How does it work? Read on to find out.
Read: Top 19 WhatsApp Tips and Tricks for iPhone
How to Find GIFs and Share Them in WhatsApp
WhatsApp has integrated GIPHY into the app. Here’s how you can find and share GIFs.
Step 1: Open the conversation you want to send the GIF to.
Step 2: Tap on the “+” icon that’s on the left to the text input box.
Step 3: Select “Photo and Video Library“.
Step 4: In the bottom-left, you’ll see a new “GIF” button, next to the magnifying glass icon. Tap here.
Step 5: This will bring up the GIF search too. You’ll see trending GIFs on the first page. Tap on the “Search” bar on top to search for a GIF. Once you find one, tap on it to select it.
Step 6: You’ll now get to the GIF editing screen. There’s a lot of stuff going on here. On the top, you’ll see the scrubber for editing the length of the GIF. You can crop the GIF by moving the starting and end points.
In the top-right you’ll see icons similar to Snapchat. Tap the Emoji icon to put in emoji stickers (they can then be flung anywhere on the GIF and resized). Tap the “T” icon to add a text on the GIF. Tap the “Pen” icon to bring up the doodle tool. The color picker icon lets you change the color of the doodle.
At the bottom, you’ll be able to add text caption.
Step 7: Once you’re done editing, tap the “Send” button in the bottom-right corner.
Sidenote: Star GIFs. When you’re in a conversation and you find a GIF someone’s sent that’ interesting, something you might want to reuse yourself, tap and hold in the GIF and tap the “Star” icon. Next time you’re in the “GIF” section, tap the “Starred” tab and you’ll find all your starred GIFs here.
How to Send Short Videos as GIFs
If you’ve got a video of 6 seconds or less in your library, you can send it as GIF (as well as a video, of course).
Step 1: Once you’re in the “Photo and Video Library” section, find the video and tap on it.
Step 2: You’ll get to the editing screen. In the top-right section, you’ll see a switch. On the left there’s a “Video” icon, on the right there’s “GIF“. Select “GIF”.
Step 3: You can now edit the GIF and send it along like discussed above.
How to Send Live Photos as GIFs
One of the coolest thing about the new update is the fact that WhatsApp will now natively convert Live Photos as GIFs. No need for a third party client like Lively.
The only problem is that the feature is basically hidden under 3D Touch action.
Step 1: From the “Photo and Video Library“, find the Live Photo you want to share.
Step 2: 3D Touch the photo. It will now popup. This will still show a still image, it won’t play the Live Photo.
Step 3: Swipe up, while holding the 3D Touch, and you’ll see 3 options appear. Tap on “Select as GIF“.
Step 4: You’ll now get to the familiar GIF editing page, the Live Photo will now start playing as a GIF. You know what to do now.
Third Party GIF Keyboards Work as Well
If you’d rather use your own third party keyboard like Gboard or GIPHY to look for GIFs, that’s fine as well. Select the GIF from your third party keyboard, tap and hold on the text input box in WhatsApp, and select “Paste“.
The GIF will be added and you’ll get to the GIF editing screen.