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One of the most anticipated features on WhatsApp is the impending arrival of gif images support.

WhatsApp’s GIF support has been rumored and promised and quasi-implemented for months now. In August, we got our first glimpse at GIF support through the option to convert videos with 6sec or less duration to GIFs that could then be shared with any of your contacts.

WhatsApp has finally made things official. It has brought full-fledged gif support to the instant messaging platform, with WhatsApp beta for Android version 2.16.293.

The newest version adds the third GIFs tab when attaching a media file from the Gallery, next to Photos and Videos. In it, you’ll find all the animated GIFs that are saved on your device’s storage and you’ll be able to pick any one of them, preview it, append a caption to it, and share it with your contact or group. GIFs you send will preview inside the chat window so there’s less jumping around through dedicated video viewers compared to regular videos.

Interestingly, WhatsApp compresses these gifs images into mp4 files, in order to make them more data-friendly.

As mentioned, this feature is in beta, and in order to use it, you need to register for the Google Play beta testing program for WhatsApp, and then download the latest build from the store. Alternatively, you can even download the signed apk file from APK Mirror, though the first method is preferred if you’d like to receive all betas straight from WhatsApp.

Credit: Android Police