Image: rvlsoft / 123rf
What’s the first thing you do in the morning? If, like us, you reach for your phone to check your notifications, then chances are, WhatsApp is one of the first few apps you’ll open. The messaging app entered our lives years ago and remained there, even through controversial updates that involved blue ticks.
Even though most of us use it on a day-to-day basis, however, not all of us know about the little tricks that make this app even more special. So read on to see the various tricks that you may not know about.
1. Italicise, bold and strikethrough your texts
If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that you could make a particular text message bold for added emphasis, then you’ll be happy to know that WhatsApp’s recent update has finally given you the power to do just that. Add asterisks around your text to make it bold like *this*, or replace the asterisks with an underscore for an italicised message. And surrounding your message with tildes, ~like this~, will create a line through it. Go ahead and try it on your friends, chances are they might not know about it!
2. Turn off the blue ticks
Ah, the blue ticks synonymous with WhatsApp. If you hate the idea of people knowing that you’ve read their message, then you’ll be glad to know that you can turn it off. All you’ve got to do is go to settings > account > privacy, and see the option “Read Receipts”? Well, turn it off and you’re set to go! One thing to note, though, is that turning yours off will mean that you won’t be able to see others’ blue ticks too. If that’s a trade off you’re willing to make, then go ahead and live in anonymity!
3. Send pdf documents
This is another of WhatsApp’s recent updates, and for all you OLs, this might come in very handy indeed. Instead of having to take screenshots of important pdf documents, you can now easily send PDF documents. It works in much the same way you’d send a images, except select “share document” instead of “photo/video”, and there you go!
4. Star messages
Have you ever had to scroll through days of old messages just to find the one text you needed or wanted to see? If only there were some way to flag out these important messages, right? Well there is! Besides taking screenshots of sweet, important or hilarious texts, you can now “star” them for future reference. How do you do this? Simple. Tap and hold the message you wish to star until a menu pops up. Then, select the option that is, quite literally, a star and it’ll be bookmarked down for easy future reference.
5. See all starred messages
And now that you’ve starred these messages, how do you find it? Well, for iPhone users, all you have to do is tap the name of the conversation (whether it’s an individual contact or a group chat), and then select “Starred Messages”, and your saved list will appear.
Don’t worry Android users, you’re not losing out. Like iPhone users, you’ll need to go to the conversation of your choice. Then, tap your menu button and select the “Starred Messages” option.
6. Visual reminders
Swipe left or right? No, WhatsApp hasn’t added an element of Tinder, but it has done us a service. If you’ve ever unintentionally ignored someone, you’ll know the struggle of trying to explain your honest mistake without sounding completely insincere. Which is why this visual reminder will come in very handy since it’ll flag the chat out as if you hadn’t opened it. Simply swipe to the right and tap the “unread” option that appears. Note, though, that this only works on your phone – doing this won’t reverse the blue tick on the chat, you’ll have to refer back to #2 for that.
7. Keep your group chats silent
While we love our group chats for entertaining us in the post-lunch lull, some group chats are unnecessary and … Excessively noisy. If you’re currently in a group chat that you can’t leave (because #manners), but have no real reason to be stay in, then mute it. How, you ask?
For iPhone users, swipe left on the chat you want to mute and tap on the three dots that say “more”, then select the mute option and you’ll be prompted to choose how long you want to silence the chat for.
As for Android users, go to the chat you’d like to mute, then tap your menu button where the option to mute will be appear and, well, you know how it goes from here.
8. See who’s read your messages and is ignoring you
The infamous blue ticks aren’t quite as effective in a group chat, so it makes tracking down the people who refuse to reply your message about meeting next Tuesday especially difficult. Well don’t worry, fellow stalkers, because all you have to do now is select the message you want to check on, swipe left, and you’ll see the details of your text – when it was delivered, when it was read, and (of course), by who.
9. Use WhatsApp Web
You might have already heard of this update, but we’ll mention it anyway because it deserves repeating. WhatsApp has extended their web chat to Apple users too, so everyone can now reply to messages on your laptop which, let’s be honest, is far more convenient. First, go to www.web.whatsapp.com on the desktop or laptop of your choosing. Then open WhatsApp on your phone, go to the settings menu, tap on “WhatsApp Web”, and scan the QR code that’s on your monitor. You’re welcome!
10. Broadcast your message
There are group chats for just about everything these days, but it seems that it’s never enough. You’re either missing someone in a chat, or the very person you’re trying to avoid is in the group too. Instead of adding onto the never-ending list of group chats, or painstakingly message the recipients individually, simply create a broadcast list by tapping on the upper left corner of your screen on the chat page. It’ll then send out individual messages to all the contacts you chose, and they won’t even know about this broadcast list.
Yeah, we know! Pretty cool, right?