WhatsApp's search function has never been great. It does help you find your conversations and certain keywords if you know what you're looking for, but it has always only displayed text as results. WhatsApp wants to change that, as WABetaInfo and our tipster Moshe have spotted. The developers are testing an Advanced Search mode that helps you narrow down your results with specific filters, like text, images, videos, GIFs, audio, and more.
The feature is live for some people using one of the latest WhatsApp beta releases ranging from version 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52. However, running this version is no guarantee, as WhatsApp is rolling out search filters to a limited amount of randomized testers via a server-side switch.
When you're in on the test and tap the search icon, you'll notice bubbles filled with filters below the text entry form. Select the one you want to activate, and WhatsApp will allow you to search your chats exclusively for the kind you've chosen, be it photos, videos, links, GIFs, audio, or documents. For things like photos or videos, you'll presumably see a collection of all the media you've received or shared right after choosing the filter. This will be possible both in global search and in individual chats (though in the latter, you can already tap a contact picture and head to "Media, links, and docs" to see collections sorted by type). Our tipster says that when you search for images, videos, and GIFs, you can toggle between grid and list views.
If you want to get in on the lottery, download the latest WhatsApp beta release (v184.108.40.206) from APK Mirror. Since it's a server-side change, there's nothing you can do to speed up the process — either you're in on the test or not.