GIFs are a mainstay of communication platforms on the Internet. They’re incredibly popular for showing funny mistakes, animals doing cute things and as reaction images. WhatsApp didn’t originally support GIFs at all, it only added support in 2017. In fact, there are still some restrictions on how you can send GIFs. So how can you send a top tier reaction GIF to your friends on WhatsApp?
On mobile there three ways you can send GIFs. Firstly, if you have an animated gif saved to your phone, you can just select it as you would any other image and send it directly.
The second way to send a GIF is by converting a video to a GIF. When you go to send a video, there’s an option in the top right-hand corner (on the screen where you can crop the length of your video) to send the video as it is or to convert it to a GIF.
The final option is to use the GIPHY search function. WhatsApp has an integrated GIPHY search function so you can find and send GIFs without having to leave WhatsApp. The GIPHY integration comes with a few tabs of suggested tags and a search function, so you can find the GIF you want. To open GIPHY you can either tap the sticker icon in the far right of the chat bar or tap the “GIF” label in the bottom left when you browse photos saved on your mobile.
In WhatsApp Web
In WhatsApp Web, you can only send GIFs via the GIPHY functionality. To access GIPHY, click on the smiley to the left of the chat bar and then click on the GIF icon in the bottom left.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp does not support linking animated GIFs. If you try to send a link to a GIF the link will send properly. In some cases, you may get an inline embedded image, but the preview won’t be animated.
In WhatsApp Web, you can’t upload custom GIFs from your computer. WhatsApp will convert an uploaded GIF to a static JPEG and show an alert by the caption bar saying “This file was changed from original. Learn more”. If you click “Learn more” a message will pop up saying that “Custom GIF animations are not currently supported.” There doesn’t seem to be a reason why this restriction is only applied to WhatsApp Web.