The Secrets of WhatsApp ~12 min
WhatsApp has grown to be the world’s most popular messaging app, with 1.5 billion monthly active users. Over 60 billion messages are sent via the app daily, more than 40 million every minute. WhatsApp has many useful features that you might know, however if you take a closer look at all the things we’ve outlined for you, there are many hidden treasures.
Although WhatsApp offers primarily a consumer-oriented service, the recent addition of WhatsApp Business has made the app more welcoming and relevant for businesses.
As they say, with great success comes great responsibility. In April alone, WhatsApp has introduced five further new features. So let’s take a peek at all the options on offer.
Chapter 1. Formatting
Did you know: you can format your text as Bold, Italic or S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶?
How to make it: Bold, use an asterisk, i.e. *bold*; Italic, use an underscore, i.e. _italic_; S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶, use tildes i.e. ~strikethrough~. For Android, also hold a message before sending it and select Bold, Italic, or S̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ from the pop-up menu.
Did you know: you can change your message font?
How to: use the ` symbol three times on both sides of the message, e.g. ```Hello```. Please note the ` symbol is not available on iOS, so you will have to copy and paste ```. For Android, also hold a message before sending it and select Monospace from the pop-up menu.
Chapter 2. Messages
Did you know: you can bookmark a message by giving it a star, which allows you go easily go back to it anytime, no matter if it is a link, address, or a phone number?
How to give a star: long-press on the message, and tap on the Star icon. Do the same to “unstar” messages too.
How to view a starred message: to view previously starred message on iOS, select the Star tab on the bottom of the app’s screen or tap on the menu button on Android.
Deliver public messages privately
Did you know: you can send out private-like messages (akin to blind copying, BCC-ing, in emails) to different people simultaneously?
How to: go to WhatsApp’s main menu, find New Broadcast or Broadcast Lists. Tap on it to create a new list of contacts you want to deliver a message to, and then type your message.
Make use of AI technology
Did you know: you can send or listen to a message without touching your phone using AI technology?
Siri and Google Assistant can understand when you want to send a message to someone through WhatsApp. Just ask! For iOS users, you can even get Siri to read out your replies, by asking Siri to “read my last WhatsApp Message” after unlocking your phone.
Draw on pictures
Did you know: you can unleash your inner Picasso and impress friends in your group chat?
How to: select the picture you want to alter and use the icons on the top of the screen to add emojis, write a message, draw something, or crop the image.
“Quote messages” in replies
Did you know: you can give context to your response in a hectic group chat by quoting the specific message you are replying to?
How to: on iOS, swipe right on the original message; on Android, press and hold the message, and select Reply from the pop-up menu.
Send your location
Did you know: you can let your friends know where to find you by dropping a pin of your current or preferred locations? The location broadcast will last either 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 8 hours, depending on your preferences.
How to: on iOS, click the + icon on the left of the chat and choose Location. Approve WhatsApp to know your location, then select Broadcast Your Live Location and Send Your Current Location. On Android, go to the Attach menu and choose Location.
Send an attachment
Did you know: you can send a document to a colleague directly in a chat from Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive instead of having to use email?
How to: go into a chat, tap the + symbol on iOS or the paperclip symbol on Android, click on the Document icon, then select the relevant storage service and the file in question.
Send a GIF
Did you know: you can express your humour through GIFs in WhatsApp?
How to: on iOS, click the + icon, choose Photo & Video library and select GIF in the bottom left corner. On Android, launch the emoji keyboard and select GIF under the list of your emojis.
Add location-based stickers (iOS only)
Did you know: just like on Instagram, in WhatsApp you can add location-based stickers to your photos and videos?
How to: press the + icon in any chat and tap Photo & Video Library. Once you have selected the media, click on the Smiley icon and add any stickers. Please note the location-based sticker is only available on iOS, but for Android users, you still have many other stickers to choose from.
Make a conversation private
Sometimes group chats get too swamped, and you just want to discuss a particular matter with a person separately.
Did you know: that you can do that without having to exit the group chat?
How to: long-hold a message, click on the menu and select the “Message [name of the person]” option. Alternatively, tap the name on a message and select “Message [name of the person]” from the pop-up menu to open your previous conversation or start a new one.
Did you know: with WhatsApp’s recent update, you have a one-hour window to delete the message you have mistakenly sent?
How to: simply hold the message and select Delete. The Delete for Everyone option is available only for an hour after the message is sent and the Delete for Me option is always available.
Did you know: you can access your favourite chat by pinning it above all other conversations?
How to: swipe right of the selected chat on iOS and long-press the chat on Android, then tap on the Pin icon.
Chapter 3. Notifications
Turn off read receipts
Did you know: you can avoid making your friends feel ignored by turning off read receipts?
How to: go to the Settings menu, click Account, then Privacy, and turn off Read Receipts. Note that by doing this you also won’t receive other people’s receipts.
Sneaky tip: If you want to read something without turning off read receipts, put your phone in Airplane Mode before reading the message.
Check the read time
Did you know: you can go beyond the read status, and know exactly when the message was read?
How to: to see details on who and when a message has been delivered and read on iOS, swipe left on the message. On Android, hold down on the message and select the Information icon.
Mark messages as unread
Did you know: you can unread a message that you have read?
How to: on iOS, swipe the chat to the right and click on the Unread icon. On Android, long-press the chat and select Mark as Unread.
Mute group chat
Did you know: you can prevent your phone from blowing up because of group chats by following a few easy steps?
How to: select the group chat you want to mute, then tap on its name. In the Group Info section, tap Mute and select whether you’d like to silence notifications for eight hours, one week, or a year.
Did you know: you can hide the preview by turning the notification function off, so all the secret messages are safe?
How to: in Settings, go to Notifications and select the right option in Popup Notification.
Get shortcuts (Android only)
Did you know: Android users can create shortcuts to their most used chats and keep them on the home screen?
How to: tap and hold on the chat of your choice. In a pop-up tab, select Add Chat Shortcut, click Add and the chat will appear as the profile photo on the mobile home screen.
Choose custom notifications
Did you know: you can assign different notification sounds to different chats or contacts to know when to react the quickest?
How to: tap on the name of the contact or the chat. In the appeared Contact or Group Info menu select Custom Notifications, then select whatever your heart desires.
Chapter 4. Other
YouTube inception (iOS only)
Did you know: you can now watch YouTube videos within WhatsApp and continue messaging or switch chats?
How to: simply click on any YouTube video shared with you through WhatsApp and the magic will take place. Once the video is opened, you can multitask, e.g. continue messaging or access another chat.
Figure out the most frequent contact
Did you know: WhatsApp lets you see who you talk to the most on the app?
How to: in Settings, go to Data and Storage Usage, then Storage Usage. There you can see a ranking of the most important groups and contacts, based on the data you’ve used on them.
Did you know: you can find the exact text you need with an easy search option?
How to: click on the search button in the main menu, type the text you are looking for and that’s it. If you know in which chat that message is, then tap on its name and click on Chat Search, then enter the text.
Hide your profile picture
Did you know: you can go incognito and set your profile picture to private?
How to: in Settings, go to Account, then Privacy, then select Nobody in Profile Photo.
Did you know: you can become invisible by turning off your Last Seen status?
How to: in Settings, go to Account, then Privacy, then click on Last Seen and select the suitable option.
Back it up
Did you know: you can secure your chat history in the cloud, so you never have to worry about losing it?
How to: on iOS, WhatsApp prompts an automatic backup on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. To enable that option on both iOS and Android, in Settings select Chats > Chat Backup.
Save data and media
Did you know: you can avoid getting a substantial phone bill from sending and receiving all those cat videos?
How to: on iOS, go to Settings, choose Data and Storage Usage; on Android, go to Settings > Data Usage. Look through the settings and tweak them to your preferred way of receiving and downloading media. Select Wi-Fi to receive media only when you are off the data plan, or switch Auto-Download where everything is loaded automatically.
Save data on calls
WhatsApp call is a convenient yet mobile data-consuming feature.
Did you know: there is a way to save data while using this?
How to: in Settings, go to Data and Storage Use on iOS and Data Usage on Android and select the Low Data Usage option.
Transfer money to your friends (coming soon…)
Did you know: soon you will be able to make payments to your friends and family through WhatsApp after the app has launched its beta in India?
Photo credit: iPhone Hacks
Please note: Facebook Messenger requires more detailed information in order to access the payment option, so be careful when it comes to sharing personal data.
WhatsApp on a big screen
Sometimes it’s hard to type out a detailed response using only your phone keypad.
Did you know: you can use WhatsApp on your computer internet browser to make everything easier?
How to: go to web.whatsapp.com on your computer internet browser, then go to the main menu in WhatsApp on your phone, select WhatsApp Web and scan the QR code.
Add dates to your calendar (iOS only)
Did you know: you can instantly save an agreed date before a conversation moves on and never miss the appointment?
How to: iOS automatically detects and underlines date-like parts of the conversation. To save the date, click on it and select the Create Event option.
Email the whole conversation
Sometimes you love your favourite Whatsapp chat so much that you want to get it published as a book.
Did you know: you can email the entire conversation including emojis and media attachments?
How to: for Android, go into the chat, select More in the menu and choose Email Chat. For iOS, in the Contact Info menu click on Export Chat, choose whether you want to get it with or without attachments within the chat, then select Mail, type in the email and click Send to receive a .zip file.
Congratulations, you have become a Wizard of WhatsApp by learning all the secrets we have up our sleeve! The app is constantly growing and will continue to offer more features in future. Aitarget will be part of the journey and we can help you navigate uncharted waters.