WhatsApp’s design may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still among the most used messengers in the world. It doesn’t look like we’re getting a full redesign anytime soon, but at least the company has announced that it’s introducing a few new wallpapers along with the option to customize backgrounds for individual chats. It’s now also easier to find stickers — they’re becoming searchable with text and emoji.
The new wallpapers can be accessed in the WhatsApp settings to apply them globally or in the top right overflow menu to set them for individual chats or groups. A new selector lets you add the signature WhatsApp doodles to solid-color backgrounds — a thoughtful addition. There are also new “bright” and “dark” wallpaper collections. You can use them to create two distinct themes for light and dark mode, but you can alternatively use two of your own custom backgrounds.
WhatsApp is also introducing a new animated WHO sticker pack based on the existing Together at Home art. You’ll be able to find it in the sticker selector once it has rolled out to you.
Additionally, the company is making it easier to search for stickers. When you enter some smileys in the compose box, they’ll be automatically populated with sticker suggestions — similar to Telegram. You’ll also be able to search for stickers with text. Creators have to add tags and emoji to their sticker packs first, though, so it might take a while until your collection is fully searchable.
It looks like the changes are rolling out as a server-side update — some of us here at AP already have the new wallpapers on the WhatsApp beta while others don’t. You can download the latest version of the messenger from the Play Store or APK Mirror, but the new features might not show up for you just yet.