Although animated stickers have been available on Gboard for a while it looks like WhatsApp is finally going to support their functionality as. Up until now, the messaging app has only supported static stickers but that looks set to change as reported by Android Police.
WhatsApp is testing a number of new updates on the user side this year. These include the ability to log-in on multiple devices as well as revamped storage utility. Rumours suggest these new exciting features are to lessen the blow of in-app advertising that is set to come in soon.
Animated stickers briefly rolled out in beta
Briefly, animated stickers were available for Whatsapp users on June 24. The feature showed up in beta v2.20.194. but then quickly disappeared. When it was working, the stickers were live in conversation.
However, it looked as if they could only animate once then stop. This means you have to scroll up and down to trigger them to play again.
Potentially this is a conscious move from the devs. They might have preferred limiting the amount of movement on the screen when you are trying to read messages. However, none of this is confirmed and may well change when the update is rolled out more widely.
The stickers do loop when you select them in the built-in Whatsapp picker. Therefore, there is a discrepancy in there, perhaps lending more weight to the idea that they will look in messaging when fully launched. However, as mentioned we will have to wait and see to know for sure.
Five animated sticker packs currently known
As of now, we know about five animated sticker packs. These are Playful Piyomaru, Rico's Sweet Life, Moody Foodies, Chummy Chum Chums, and Bright Days.
They all appear to be supplied by Whatsapp themselves not from any outside supplier.
Third-party animated sticker packs are likely to be supplied when the feature is rolled out in full on Whatsapp.
You can still test these limited animated sticker packs if you wish. You need to switch to be on beta v126.96.36.199 which is still available on APK Mirror.
However, if you have automatic updates on then the stickers will not animate. In that case, you will have to wait for a proper rollout. This seems like another exciting update from Whatsapp. Recently the app increased the video chat limit to eight.
All of the updates mentioned in this article are great steps forward for the app. However, it does appear to be a way of masking the hit of impending in-app advertising that is likely to come soon.