Starting out as a small tech startup, WhatsApp is now one of the most popular messaging apps in the world with more than one billion users. Facebook bought the company in 2014 for a staggering $19 billion and 42 billion messages are now sent by WhatsApp users every day.
Despite the enormous number of users, most don’t know about all of WhatsApp’s hidden features so we’ve put together 10 of the best WhatsApp tip and tricks to try out…
Find out if your message has been read
It’s easy to see if you messages have been read thanks to the tiny tick marks in the corner of the speech bubble. One grey tick means that the message was successfully sent, while two show that it was delivered to the recipient’s phone. When the two ticks turn blue, that means the message has been read.
Read a message without the sender knowing
If you don’t want the sender to know that you’ve read their messages, there’s a sneaky workaround. Before you open their specific message, put your phone into airplane mode.
Read the message while airplane mode is still activated then come of the message before you turn it off. Doing this ensures that the blue ticks don’t appear so the sender won’t know that you’ve read their message.
Stop incoming photos from automatically saving
WhatsApp automatically saves images and videos that are received in messages to the photo gallery on both iPhones and Android handsets. To stop it, simple fire up WhatsApp’s Settings screen, go to Chats settings and you’ll be able to switch off ‘Save Incoming Data’ with the slider.
Mute group notifications
Whether it’s the family WhatsApp group or your oldest friends, group notifications can be incredibly frequent and extremely annoying. The good news is that you can mute them without having to leave the group and causing offence.
You can even mute the notifications for good, or choose a specified time period if you just need a short break. On iOS, you can simply tap on the subject at the top of the screen to fire up the Group Info screen and from there simply tap Mute. Likewise, on Android, you can just tap Menu, then Mute within the relevant chat.
Find out how much data you’re using
If you need to keep an eye on how much data your phone is using, you can get a full breakdown by heading to the Settings screen and going to Data Usage then Network Usage.
The app will tell you how many messages you’ve sent and received, and well as how much data. If you go back one screen, you can turn on Low Data Usage which limits the amount of data used during any WhatsApp calls.
Hide ‘last seen’ timestamp
WhatsApp shows other users when you were last using the app by default at the top of each chat. If you don’t want people to know when you were last online, head to Settings, Account, then Privacy and tap on Last Seen. From here you can choose from Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody to choose who can see your timestamp.
Send messages to multiple people without them knowing
If you want to send the same message to a group of friends without having to set up a news chat group, you can use the handy Broadcast Lists features found in the top left of the Chats screen. This will send the same message to the contacts you choose, without them knowing that it’s been sent to other people, a bit like a bcc on email.
Add bold, italics and strikethrough
If your messages need a little extra formatting to get your message across, you can easily add bold, italics and strikethrough. For bold, simply add as asterisks to either side of the word you want to highlight (e.g. *bold*), for italics use underscores (_italic_) and for strikethrough use tildes (~strikethrough~).
Find out who you talk to most
To work out who your best mates are, according to WhatsApp, head to the Settings screen, then tap on Account, and Storage Usage. This will show you a list of the the people and groups you chat with on WhatsApp and the total number of interactions for each. Selecting ‘Size’ at the foot of the screen will show you who you’ve used the most data on.
Send a giant heart
This is a neat little easter egg that you might have even found already by accident and it involves emojis. If you send a standard red heart emoji it will transform into a larger, beating heart.