Huge WhatsApp update includes animated stickers, desktop dark mode and more

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WhatsApp is set to get a huge update that includes animated stickers, QR contact codes, dark mode for desktop and other new features in coming weeks for users across its platforms.

In a blog post shared by WhatsApp today, the popular messaging service revealed the key upgrades its users can expect to see in the near future. Animated stickers and QR codes for contacts headline the pack of new features, but dark mode for web, UI improvements for group video calls and status support for KaiOS users are welcome additions, too. 

Even if you've already learned about most of the service's features from our guide on how to use WhatsApp, you'll need to run software updates as they become available to benefit from the new features.

Not to be mistaken for GIFs, animated stickers come from Facebook Messenger's playbook. The sprightly emojis are fun ways to shares feelings and offer quick expressions when you're on the move. WhatsApp says it's rolling out animated stickers packs, so get ready to start responding with dancing dogs and cutesy cats soon. 

You might want to use animated stickers to start conversations with recently added contacts as well. WhatsApp has made pairing new contacts easier with personal QR codes, which lets you scan someone's phone to add them to your contacts. This tool is already available for platforms like Snapchat, and it's much faster than entering digits if you're connecting in person.

WhatsApp's desktop users are also getting an upgrade. Dark mode is already available on mobile, but now those who use WhatsApp from a computer will get to employ the popular Dark Mode theme while online. 

Additional WhatsApp updates coming soon

Some minor WhatsApp updates users will see begin to roll out apply to group video calls and the version of WhatsApp for Kai smartphones. 

WhatsApp expanded its group video chat service to permit up to 8 people on a call in April, but now it's made it easier focus on a specific participant. You can press and hold someone's window to maximize their feed to full screen. 

Meanwhile, WhatsApp's KaisOS users will get to use the status feature. Similar to stories on Snapchat on Instagram, status on WhatsApp lets you share messages that disappear after 24 hours.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.