WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps for smartphones. The app has more than one billion users in over 180 countries and you are probably one of them.
The name of the app is a play on the phrase “What’s Up”. It is a free messaging service but data charges do apply.
The app’s unique selling point is its attention to privacy and security, with messages encrypted as standard. It was created and founded in 2010 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. WhatsApp joined Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion but it continues to work as a separate app.
WhatsApp users have started getting excited following rumours of a new feature that will be available soon. The feature will help un-do embarrassing or regrettable messages. From accidental kisses to collegues or awkward photos to family members – everyone has a time they can think of where they wish they could press un-send on a message.
This un-do feature will allow users to delete messages sent within five minutes, before the recipient has read the message.
WhatsApp first announced that they were developing this feature in January. The company have not confirmed when the un-send feature will be available but WABetaInfo estimates “it should be available very soon.”
While you wait to find out when the un-send feature will be available you should familiarise yourself with some of the app’s other useful tools.
1. You can listen to group messages on the go
If you struggle with the annoying ping of your WhatsApp as you’re trying to get out of the door and juggle all of your wordly belongings, WhatsApp has a solution. To keep you in the loop with your group chat, the app has added a speakerphone feature that reads your messages to you. This feature is available on Apple phones and none other than Siri will be reading the messages. To activate this feature simply go to the WhatsApp settings menu and request that Siri read the latest message when you say “Hey Siri”. You need to be using iOS 10.3 for the feature to work and it is not clear when it will be available on Android smartphones.
2. You can send the same message to multiple people…without them knowing
In the top left of WhatsApp “Chats” there is a feature called “Broadcast Lists”. Go to Chats – Broadcast Lists – New List – Add contacts and write your message then hit send!
3. You can make words bold
Everyone loves a bit of bold to make their point even clearer. Simply use the * symbol either side of the word you want to make bold. For example *Friday*.
4. You can make words italic
Another handy tool to break up long messages and add emphasis. Simply put the symbol _ either side of the word or phrase. For example _Friday_.
5. You can change the font of your text
This feature is easier to do on Android phones because you need the `symbol. Not to be mistaken with ‘ which is found on Apple keyboard. Using three ` symbols either side of a word will change the font. For example “`Hello“`.
6. Find out your WhatsApp best friend
You can find out who you talk to most by heading to your settings. Go to Settings – Account- Storage usage. A list of people and groups that you message will appear and show the total number of interactions you’ve had with them.
7. Mute chats
Got friends that natter right into the night? One person really annoying you? You can mute a conversation for between eight hours and a year! Go into the chat you want to mute, tap the name of the group and go to mute. Then you can select how long you wish to mute it for.
How to use WhatsApp
If you are new to the app or feel inspired to download it after reading this, here is a simple guide to setting up your WhatsApp.
1. Download the app
Go to the relevant app store depending on your device and click download. It is a free app.
2. Set up your account
Enter your personal details, this includes your phone number and country.
3. Add your friends
The app will sync with the contacts in your phone. Ensure the person’s number is in your phone so that you can add them to your WhatsApp contacts.
4. Message, message, message!
You are ready to message your friends, family and anyone else you want to! A few handy tips – the camera button allows you to send quick pictures, the paperclip icon allows you to send files including videos and documents and you can send voice messages by holding down the microphone symbol.
Remember – the “un-send” feature isnt out yet so be careful what you put out there!