Facebook-owned WhatsApp was a bit slow in adding its own GIF feature – powered by the web’s most popular GIF search engine GIPH. Here is how to search and use GIFs in WhatsApp and even create your own.

How to search and send GIFs in WhatsApp:

Start by opening a WhatsApp chat on your smartphone.

Next, click the + button and select Photo and Video Library to view your camera roll.

A small magnifying glass icon with the word GIF should now appear in the bottom-left corner of your screen.

READ MORE: WhatsApp has a cool new feature and you probably haven’t spotted it

WhatsApp now has 2 billion users worldwide, the company announced in a blog post this week.

This is up from 1.5 billion and one billion users in 2018 and 2016, respectively.

In context, this compares to 2.5 billion users for its owner Facebook and one billion Instagram users.

WhatsApp used the milestone to reiterate the importance of encrypting its users’ messages, a practice coming under increasing amounts of pressure from lawmakers around the world.

Governments argue being unable to read people’s messages makes it harder to discover when the messaging app is being used to facilitate terrorism, child exploitation, and other crimes.

WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart believes the company has no plans to disable encryption on its service.

He said: “For all of human history, people have been able to communicate privately with each other, and we don’t think that should go away in a modern society,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

However, the CEO added WhatsApp will provide metadata when it is useful for an investigation.

In the future, Mr Cathcart revealed WhatsApp is working to make the service interoperable with Facebook’s other messaging clients in plans announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year.

However, Mr Cathcart admitted this integration may have its limits, with some features already present on a messaging service like Messenger may not merge with WhatsApp.