Most messaging apps have it, so it's about time WhatsApp did too. The WhatsApp beta now has a search bar for emojis.
Maybe it's just me being lazy, but swiping through pages and pages of emojis is such a chore. I think we've all experienced a time where we're convinced that an emoji that was just there yesterday is now gone forever. Sifting through emojis is a minuscule issue in the grand scheme of things, but we've been pretty thankful for the messaging apps that have made it easier to find the perfect emoji.
WhatsApp happens to be one of the most popular messaging apps of the moment, so it was surprising that they weren't including this feature that makes messaging so much easier. Especially since competitors like iMessage, Google Gboard, and LINE have it.
The workings of the feature are fairly simple. Essentially, it will work similarly to the iMessage feature in that you can simply type a keyword into the bar and suggested emojis will appear. Specific keywords like 'hand', 'phone', and 'heart' will make the emojis appear as well as more broad words like 'unhappy' and 'celebrating'.
This feature also helps if you see a weird emoji and have no idea what it's supposed to represent. There are more and more emojis added all the time, and it's truly hard to decipher what they are sometimes. A feature like this might help, for example, if you type in 'liar' and see that weird, sad emoji with a nose. Because for a long time I was really concerned about that.
This may seem like a small update to the messaging app, but realistically its a small feature that many people find important. WhatsApp has tough competition in the messaging world. With iMessage already being so popular and apps like LINE constantly trying to put themselves at the top, it's important that WhatsApp covers the basics. Anything that will help them get even the slightest edge over the others.
While it seems that this feature is limited to the beta, for now, it should be released everywhere soon. Other WhatsApp beta features include a new call screen and media sharing for Android. If you can't wait and want to test out the beta now, you can download it here.