WhatsApp for Android is soon going to receive an update with animated GIF image file support, or at least an option to share video as GIF images. You can covert a video of 6 second or less in length into a GIF image. This feature already appeared in WhatsApp Android beta versions.
The new GIF image feature is available in WhatsApp Android beta versions 2.16.242 to 2.16.246. Android Police first reported that the GIF image support was seen on the 2.16.242 beta version of WhatsApp for Android. We independently tested the GIF image support on the 2.16.246 beta versions of WhatsApp for Android.
So send a GIF image file, WhatsApp Android beta users will have to tap the attachment icon on top of the chat screen. After selecting the attachment, you will have to select area which is 6 second (or less) in length. You can also choose to record a video, it also should be 6 second or less, if the video is lengthier, you can select 6 seconds from it using the built-in video trimmer. After selection 6 seconds or less, a GIF icon will appear on the right top side of the screen. On selecting the icon, the video will be converted into a GIF file, you can now send it.
Android Police also points out that the files are actually converted and transmitted as audio less mp4 files that auto-play inline in the chat window. The files users receive or send are saved in WhatsApp > Media > WhatsApp Animated GIFs as mp4 files as well. Only on the front end do users receive a notification that a GIF image has been received, which was also shows in the Chat tab.
WhatsApp was supposed to add GIF image support back in June itself. That feature was expected to appear in iOS first. But this feature seems to be coming in Android first, there is no word when it will reach iOS.