WhatsApp is testing the possibility of adding a search option to let users quickly search and access stickers. The feature is partially live in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android bearing the version number 18.104.22.168.
The update groups stickers into separate tabs based on categories such as All, Love, Greetings, Happy, Sad, Angry, and Celebrate. You can access these categories from the search button present to the bottom left corner of the sticker section.
There’s a catch though. WhatsApp has not completely implemented sticker search in this beta. As WABetaInfo notes, the search button appears only when the last used tab is Stickers. Also, it disappears after you access it once. You will have to re-open WhatsApp to access sticker search again.
Another limitation of this implementation is that it does not work with user-generated stickers. When I accessed the sticker search page, it listed just the pre-installed sticker packs. It will be interesting to see if WhatsApp manages to detect the emotions of user-generated stickers and classify them in the future.
While the feature is not essential or currently significant since it does not support custom stickers, you may try it out in the latest beta version of WhatsApp from Google Play Store if you’re interested.
This is not the first time the messaging giant is testing sticker search. The Facebook-owned company was spotted testing the feature back in November 2018. The feature’s appearance in the latest beta hints that WhatsApp is planning to add it to the stable version in the coming months.