Published On: Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

How to send animated GIF images on WhatsApp


WhatsApp briefly rolls out animated GIF support as a test, but shoots it down again.

Sending and receiving animated GIF images on WhatsApp has been in the news for a while now. Though the rumours are said to be unofficial, we can confirm this by simply peeking into your mobile storage area using a file browser app for the answer. If you use any file browser, head to the WhatsApp folder on the internal storage and check the contents of the media folder. You will definitely find a folder called ‘WhatsApp Animated Gifs’, which proves that the feature is available and only needs to be enabled from the developer end.

According to older reports, WhatsApp Animated GIF feature was to be rolled out soon, but presently they are still testing it. Reason? Because the GIF feature is still in its nascent stage and WhatsApp always rolls out new features after they confirm that it works well. Same is the case with GIF images, and the said folder was seen since more than a month now.

WhatsApp GIF Animation

However, WhatsApp had started the GIF feature in a few beta versions this week. If you are a bet a user, you may have witnessed the same, but WhatsApp never informs beta user about what is new in the version, hence many must have now known that the feature existed. WhatsApp versions from 2.16.242 to 2.16.244 have seen the GIF animation support being enabled, but if you have updated further, it has been disabled again. If you want to install the older versions with GIF support, you can download it from here.

As far as the GIF support goes, the feature does not allow you to send GIF files as you would usually expect—you cannot send any GIF files from your phone. The feature requires you to record a new video, or use an existing video from your smartphone, and convert it into GIF animation from WhatsApp itself. Below is the procedure on how you can send GIF files.

WhatsApp GIF Animation

WhatsApp GIF Animation

WhatsApp GIF Animation

Simply open the chat conversation window. Tap the attachment icon and choose an existing video from your smartphone or tap the camera icon and record a video. Then, in the WhatsApp interface, you will see the option for trimming the said video. Here itself, you will see a small video icon on the extreme top right corner of the window. Tap it and you will see it change to GIF. Now send the message and it will go as an animated GIF to the recipient. However, the video that needs to be converted to GIF should not be longer than 6 seconds. The animated GIFs don’t have any audio.

However, here’s a trick if you want to hear the sound too. Simply close WhatsApp after you receive the GIF animation and open a file browser app. head to the WhatsApp folder, open the Media folder and then open the WhatsApp Animated Gifs folder. If you have received the file, you can see it in the same folder as an MP4 video file. If you are a sender, you will see it in the Sent folder. Tap the video and it will play in a video player app with audio.

WhatsApp GIF Animation

WhatsApp is not sending the message as a GIF image—in fact, the message is sent as a video itself and since the video is short, it actually plays it in a loop on the screen, which looks like a GIF animation without sound.

WhatsApp will surely roll out the GIF animation feature soon. However, they seem to be testing it and ensuring that the new feature will save on bandwidth, work perfectly with all phones and most of all, when it is stable.

In order to get the most recent update on WhatsApp and be a beta tester, you can enrol yourself with WhatsApp’s beta program so that you get early access to their test apps before everyone gets it. Click here to enrol yourself on the beta program.

Courtesy: DC

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology