WhatsApp adds Snapchat-style emoji, drawing, and other camera editing tools

You can now draw and add emoji to your photos and videos on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp's imagery is getting a Snapchat-like feature boost, following in the footsteps of the rest of Facebook's various mobile apps.

The company just announced new enhancements for its camera feature, including the ability to write or draw on photos and videos. You can also add an emoji for those times your photos need a little extra spice, like a cartoon taco or a smiling turd.

Prior to this update, WhatsApp’s image editing tools allowed you to crop and rotate photos. There were no editing options for videos whatsoever.

The story behind the story: The new draw and emoji features in WhatsApp follow a trend among Facebook properties that were really sparked by the popularity of Snapchat. Facebook Messenger gained the ability to draw on photos in 2014, then almost a year ago those same features landed in the main Facebook app on Android and iOS. In April, Facebook announced that Live broadcasters would be able to doodle on the screen. Most recently, Facebook-owned Instagram added the ability to doodle on photos as part of the service’s new “Instagram Stories” feature.

More than just smileys

WhatsApp said it has also added some enhancements to the usability of its general camera feature.

The camera will now support front-facing flash, which basically means your screen will brighten before it takes the shot. This can help you perfect your selfies in low-light situations. Videos are also getting a zoom feature, the quality of which will likely vary depending on how good your phone’s camera is. The company added the ability to double-tap to switch between the front- and rear-facing cameras as well.

The new features are rolling out now to Android users, with iOS devices scheduled to receive the enhancements in the coming weeks.

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Ian Paul

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