Funky new emoji update is coming to WhatsApp that will add a touch of fun to chats with friends, a leak suggests
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to express themselves in a different way, according to a leak.
Animated emojis are reportedly coming soon to iOS, Android and desktop versions of the platform, though it’s uncertain when exactly.
The upcoming feature was discovered by independent WhatsApp experts WABetaInfo, who posted a GIF of the new emoji in action.
It shows the “Face with Party Horn and Party Hat” emoji spinning while blowing a party horn.
It follows the introduction of a new WhatsApp feature that lets you video call up to eight people from your desktop.
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“WhatsApp is working to bring animated emojis to a future app update,” says WABetaInfo in the update.
The ability to send animated emojis is under development and will be released in a future WhatsApp Desktop beta update.
“This cosmetic enhancement to the app will definitely improve the user experience while sending messages to make messaging more fun and convey feelings more effectively.”
According to the report, animated emojis are sent by default when the animated version of a given emoji is available.
But this may mean WhatsApp users won’t be able to disable the animation if they want to use the default, static emoji.
MailOnline has reached out to Meta — Mark Zuckerberg’s company that owns WhatsApp as well as Facebook and Instagram — for comment.
WABetaInfo predicts that animated emojis will be a distraction for some users who want a “simple messaging experience without unnecessary animations.”
It has called on Meta developers to include the ability to toggle animated emoji on and off in WhatsApp settings so that the platform’s 2 billion users can still use regular emoji if they choose.
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to express themselves in a different way, according to a leak
One of WhatsApp’s main rivals, Telegram, already has animated emojis, leading to accusations from some users on Twitter that WhatsApp is “stealing” the idea.
Animated emojis are also already on Messages from Google and iMessage, the messaging service developed by Apple.
WhatsApp – which regularly introduces new features and tools in the app to optimize the user experience – made three major changes in February.
The former allows WhatsApp users to send up to 100 photos or videos at a time in a given chat, compared to just 30 before.
It means WhatsApp users no longer have to spend time sending large amounts of media through the app to friends and family.
Android users can also now include longer group chat names and descriptions, and even add captions when sending documents.
It follows news that WhatsApp could potentially be banned in the UK for using a security standard known as end-to-end encryption.
End-to-end encryption ensures that only the two participants in a chat can read messages, and no one in between – not even the company that owns the service.
But some argue it has made it more difficult for security services and other organizations – such as child protection charities – to detect criminal activity.
The UK government is currently considering new legislation that could force WhatsApp and other chat platforms to break end-to-end encryption, as part of the Online Safety Bill.
Messaging services that use it, including WhatsApp, Signal, Viber, and Element, have a open letter oppose the online safety bill ahead of its final reading in the House of Lords, which is yet to come.
“The UK government urgently needs to reconsider and revise the bill to encourage businesses to provide more privacy and security to its citizens, not less,” said Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, along with six other signatories in the letter.
BEST WHATSAPP ALTERNATIVES
If you’re considering uninstalling WhatsApp, you’ll be happy to hear that there are several alternative apps you can choose from:
With over 400 million users, Telegram is one of the most popular WhatsApp alternatives.
Although it is very similar to WhatsApp, it is distinguished by the fact that it offers the possibility to set messages to self-destruct after a certain time, without leaving any trace.
Telegram also offers end-to-end encryption.
However, as a WhatsApp spokesperson pointed out, Telegram “doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default, so it’s not necessarily more secure than WhatsApp.”
Signal is one of the most secure messaging apps, thanks to it being open-source.
This means that the code for the app is publicly available for viewing, making it nearly impossible for the app’s creators to sneak in backdoors that would allow governments or hackers to spy on your messages.
If you’re using an iPhone, consider simply switching to iMessage, Apple’s own messaging app.
The app has some impressive features, including no character limits, the ability to send photos and videos, and of course Apple’s animated emoji feature, Animoji.
Unfortunately, iMessage is only available for iPhone users, so you’ll struggle to communicate with anyone using an Android device.
4. Google Messages
Google’s answer to iMessage is Google Messages, a messaging service for Android.
The app replaces your default text messaging app and integrates with all of Google’s apps and services, making it easy to share images or use the Google Assistant.
5. Facebook messenger
If you were put off using WhatsApp because of its data sharing with Facebook, Facebook Messenger may not be the best option for you.
However, the app offers some useful features, including games, secret conversations, and video calls.