WhatsApp users could soon have access to a feature that may brighten up their group chats. Meta appears to be working on animated emoji for an upcoming beta of the WhatsApp desktop app.
A GIF posted by WABetaInfo shows the feature in action. It depicts the Face with Party Horn and Party Hat emoji (🥳) bouncing and spinning around. It seems that when an animated version of a specific emoji is available, WhatsApp will share that one instead of the static image.
It's unclear whether you'll be able to switch off animated emoji if and when WhatsApp rolls out the feature more broadly. Animated emoji are reportedly on the way to beta versions of the mobile apps too. Meta declined to comment.
WhatsApp seems to be using the Lottie library of animated emoji. Those emoji are said to have small file sizes and to be scalable without losing image quality.
An animated emoji feature is unlikely to lead to an influx of new users by itself, but it could make WhatsApp a bit more enjoyable to use. Google's Messages app and iMessage have supported animated emoji for years, so WhatsApp is playing catch up to a certain degree.