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WhatsApp is Testing a GIF Autoplay Feature For a Future Update

WhatsApp GIFs will autoplay only once, and a user will playback if they need to.

WhatsApp is continuously working on enhancing the user experience by introducing new features on the social network. Now as per the new reports, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform is testing a new feature that will autoplay GIFs within the app.

Since GIFs are a great way to express emotions and convey messages in a more fun and creative way than plain text, this new functionality is expected to be a game-changer in the way users interact on the platform. The new update which is currently available to only a few select beta testers can be found in the latest version of WhatsApp beta update for most devices on Android and iOS.

According to WABetaInfo, with this feature, WhatsApp will animate the GIF only once. After the playback ends, a user will then be required to tap the media file for it to play again.

“At the end of the animation, you will need to tap on the GIF to play it again: the automatic playback is limited to the first time the GIF is displayed in the conversation to avoid constant distractions,” WABetaInfo said in a blog post.

It should be noted that while WhatsApp currently supports GIF sharing — a feature that was rolled out to the social platform in December 2020, when a user receives a GIF they have to tap it for it to be played. However, this will change once auto-playing GIFs are implemented on WhatsApp.

Autoplaying GIFs is not a new concept as it has been available on several social media platforms including Telegram and Twitter, among other social networks for quite some time but it’s yet to be officially rolled out to WhatsApp.

While we don’t know when the feature will be officially released, it is expected to be rolled out in the coming months and we will update you once it makes it to the stable version of the app.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is still working on other exciting developments for the future updates of the app and these include a self-destruct audio message feature, self-destruct group chats, a newsletter feature, and testing the ability for iOS users to edit sent messages among other features.



Winnie Nantongo

Winnie is a tech reporter with a passion for digital media & communications.
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