GIF search-engines on WhatsApp

As you are probably aware it is possible to search for GIFs on WhatsApp. What you might not know is that there are two possible search engines, why this is the case, how your search engine is determined and how to change it.

Why are we looking into this? Well i noticed some of my friends were using Giphy (owned by Facebook), and I was using Tenor (owned by Google). I wanted to find out why this was happening, because nobody configured anything of the sort. I could quickly find on the internet that these are the only two search engines for GIFs on whatsapp.

After that I also found a blog post about someone who had a similar question but apparently he had different priorities, NSFW GIFs. Anyway if you want a dive into that, here is the link. Other than that my main take-away is that this is some config-setting that is determined at (first?) install of WhatsApp.

The only questions remaining are: How is this determined? And of course the follow-up question: Why?

Sometimes before doing any deep thinking it is a good idea to take a quick survey, from this we gathered the following configurations:

quick overview from the survey

It seems to be related to the language of the phone and not to your device type. Note this overview was consistent because we took original install language (when first installing WhatsApp) into account.

This result prompted the question, is there a huge difference in the quality of service with Tenor/Giphy depending on the language? Our hunch was that Giphy might be more english-centric. So we did the only obvious thing: test in Russian. This yielded instnt results below you can see two queries where we would expect that it could find russian GIFs on.