For more than a billion people globally, WhatsApp is one of the most valuable apps on the market.
It has made communicating with loved ones around the globe easier, is an instant service that requires only an internet connection, and there's no signup fee or ongoing associated cost.
On the surface, the basic functions are incredibly easy to use. It is so widely used precisely for this reason.
But there are so many more uses than initially meets the eye.
Here, MailOnline details some of the best hacks to maximize your WhatsApp experience.
1. Pinning important friends and group chats
For those among us who are notorious for leaving messages unanswered a little too long to justify a reply, WhatsApp has a feature that may come in handy.
It's possible to pin certain chats to the top of the app, meaning they are the first you will see even above new and unread messages.
To do this:
iOS: Swipe left to right, press 'pin chat'
Android: Long hold the chat, press the pin at the top of the screen
2. Reading messages in 'super stealth mode'
There are a few different variations of tricks used to avoid letting the person on the other end of the message know that you've seen what they sent.
One such option is to hold down the message when it appears in the locked iPhone screen. Doing so will pull up a preview of the full text, allowing you to read it without actually opening the message at all.
3. Speeding up playback of a voice message
If you struggle to sit through listening to voice notes, this is the trick for you.
WhatsApp offers an option to speed up the playback of a voice message you receive, either by 1.5x or 2x.
Doing so does not change the pitch or sound of a person's voice, just the speed.
This can be achieved by accessing the specific chat, tapping the play icon next to the message, tapping the 1x icon that appears until it gradually goes up in increments. If you tap it too many times, it will return to normal speed.
4. Backing up conversations to email
WhatsApp offers a feature to back up conversations by sending them directly to an Email address.
To do this, open the chat you're trying to save, click options, followed by more, and then 'Email chat'.
Up to 40,000 messages can be sent from the chat at any given time, with or without media files.
5. Changing the WhatsApp wallpaper
WhatsApp offers all users a standard background wallpaper for every chat.
To customise this, there are two options.
The first is to change the wallpaper for all of your chats by going through settings, chats, 'chat wallpaper' and then choosing the option that allows a solid colour or photo from your own library.
Alternatively, to change the wallpaper for one specific chat, click on the conversation you're hoping to change, press the 'wallpaper and sound' icon, followed by the 'change' or 'choose a new wallpaper' options.
6. Bookmarking important messages
The 'star' message function allows users to bookmark key messages that they're likely to return to.
This saves the process of having to search using key words.
iOS: Starred messages can be found through the settings function
Android: Tap 'more options' and then 'starred messages'
7. Recording hands-free voice messages
While many people use voice notes on the app, some don't realise there's a way to actually record a voice message hands-free.
To do this, a user must hold down the microphone icon and swipe up, which essentially 'locks' the recording function.
When done, the user simply has to press send.
8. Knowing exactly when your message was read
While it's well known that the grey ticks mean delivered and blue mean read, there is a lesser known function which gives the exact timestamp at which the message was opened.
To access this, open any chat, tap and hold a message you have sent, and then press the info or 'i' button from the action bar at the top of the phone. This should bring up the specific information.
9. Hiding notifications from your lock screen
Preventing notifications from popping up when the phone is locked means there's no possibility of someone else stumbling across a message you're yet to read.
In the settings section of the app, there's an option to toggle off notifications entirely.
10. Turning off message previews
In some circumstances, you may want to still be alerted that somebody has messaged you, but not want the entire message to be visible on your lock screen.
To achieve this, follow the above steps, but instead of toggling off notifications, simply toggle off the notification previews.
11. Sending your location to a contact
You can 'drop' your location in a message to a friend, which will allow them to track your phone via the app.
There are three durations to choose from; 15 minutes, one hour or eight hours.
iOS: Tap on a specific chat, tap the + button to the left, press 'location' followed by 'share live location', and select your duration
Android: Tap on a specific chat, tap the paperclip picture to the right, press 'location' followed by 'share live location', and select your duration
12. Instantly deleting photos, GIFS or messages from a certain chat
It's possible to quickly and easily delete different types of media from specific chats.
For example, you can remove all pictures but keep all text messages, and vice verca.
To do so, access settings, followed by the storage and data option, click 'manage storage', then 'select contact', 'manage', 'select', and then tick the boxes of each media that you'd like to delete. To finalise, tap the bin icon.
13. Hiding chats from your conversation list
There are times when you may be sick of seeing a conversation in your message history, but you're not ready to delete the thread altogether. Coming in handy after a drunken text or a particularly embarrassing faux pas is the 'hide' function.
If you tap and hold a chat, you will be given an option in the top right hand corner of the app to 'archive'.
To find archived messages again, scroll down to the bottom of all of your chats and click the 'archived chats' button.
14. Sending a disappearing image or video
Similar to SnapChat and Instagram, it's possible to send a picture or video that vanishes once it's been viewed once.
This can be particularly useful for sending sensitive or private information, however it is noted that the recipient can still take a screenshot.
iOS: Open a chat, tap the + icon, select a photo, tap the '1' next to the blue send arrow, and send
Android: Open the chat, tap the paperclip icon, select a photo, tap the '1' next to the blue send arrow, and send
15. Requiring Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp
This trick is only available for iOS users at the moment, but adds depth and an extra layer of security to protect your messages.
With this feature turned on, Face ID or Touch ID will be required to access messages even on an already unlocked phone.
This can be achieved through the settings button, followed by going to account, privacy, screen lock and then toggling on the 'require Face ID' button.
It can be turned on immediately, after a minute, after 15 minutes or an hour of not being used.
16. Minimising usage data
There is a trick to minimise data usage through the WhatsApp settings page.
This can be achieved by accessing settings, data usage, call settings and finally ticking the option which says 'lower data usage'.
17. Turning on disappearing messages
Disappearing messages will wipe your history with a contact after 24 hours, seven days or 90 days.
The function can be utilised for specific chats, however it is not a failsafe, as messages can be saved elsewhere.
To use disappearing messages on specific chats, open the conversation you're interested in turning it on for, click the person's name at the top and select the 'disappearing messages' option. Select the duration of time.
For all chats, the function can be turned on in settings, by visiting the account section, followed by privacy and then the 'default message timer' option. Again, select the specific duration of time.
18. Remaining online even while away from the phone
WhatsApp has a web browser which allows users to log in on a computer and use the service as usual.
For situations where phones are prohibited or frowned upon - such as in a classroom or work environment - this offers an alternative solution to respond to messages in a timely fashion.
19. Hiding blue ticks
If you're wanting to avoid letting people know you've opened their message, WhatsApp does allow users to switch off the blue tick feature.
However, in doing so, you will also prevent yourself from seeing when people read your messages in return.
To do this, iOS and Android users access their settings, click the account tab followed by privacy, and either select 'toggle off read receipts' or 'untick read receipts'.
20. Turning words bold, italic or strikethrough
To place extra emphasis on some words, WhatsApp users have the option to italicise, bold or strikethrough their messages.
To make a word bold, simply add an asterisk (*) on either side of it.
To italicise, add an underscore (_) to either side of the word or phrase.
To strikethrough, add a tildes (~) to either side of the word or phrase.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|