There are over a billion WhatsApp users worldwide right now. The bad news? Your mum has already found her new favourite way to spam you. The good news? You can easily avoid her on the down-low, and that’s just one of the messaging service’s many secret tips you probably don’t know about.
From disabling its ‘last seen’ feature to bookmarking messages you don’t want to forget about, there are loads of tricks to make your favourite IM app more useful than ever. You just have to be in the know.
Luckily enough, we’ve scoured every inch of WhatsApp to gather up its most useful features. Read these top tips and you’ll be a pro in no time at all.
1. Begone, blue ticks of misery
We know how it is. You're at figure skating practice, your phone buzzes, and you glance down briefly before nailing a spectacular triple axel.
Clearly, you've not got time to respond immediately. But at the same time, you don't want the sender to realise that you've already looked at the message, lest they think you're ignoring them when you fail to reply for two more hours. That's the privilege the blue ticks take away.
Recently though, the chat app has realised the error of its ways and silently come up with a workaround. The liberty of message-mulling is ours again.
How: Users can just access Privacy via Settings and disable Read Receipts. There, now it's time to iron out the kinks in your friendships that the blue ticks have caused.
2. FIGURE OUT YOUR BFFS
What’s the difference between a casual acquaintance and a bezzie mate for life? How often you message them on WhatsApp, of course. If you’re not sure how to divvy up the members of your social circle, then why not check how often you’ve messaged them.
How: Head to Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Storage Usage and you’ll see a list of your most important groups and contacts ranked according to the data you’ve expended on their behalves. Ah, the romance of modern living.
3. See when your messages are read
Think the double-blue ticks are the worst thing to happen to relationships since Tinder? Think again. Here's another way you could annoy your loved ones.
In addition to finding out the exact time your messages are delivered, you can also choose to see the exact time your message was read (assuming you choose to stick with the ticks).
How: Go to any of your WhatsApp chats, tap and hold on any of the messages you’ve sent in that chat, followed by the Info option. For iOS users, you can also drag towards the left to reveal a window which will show the time your message was delivered and subsequently read.
It works for group messages too, with the window listing the time each participant read the message.
4. HIDE YOUR PROFILE PIC
Batman. David Bowie. Pepe the Prawn. All people who have built their much-vaunted careers on an air of mystique and otherness. You can bet they’d have their WhatsApp profile pics set to private, instead of treating the world to a bedraggled photo of them and a bottle of Lambrini. So, as the saying goes, always be yourself unless you can be like Batman.
How: Head to Settings > Privacy > Profile Photo > Nobody.
5. Mute group chats
We’re all in at least a few group chats at any one time, created because someone (likely the group admin) was bored. People tend to get overzealous in chats, especially since WhatsApp allows group conversations of up to 50 participants. Who hasn’t woken up to the horror of 100+ unread messages fuelled by a night of boredom?
How: To prevent yourself from being woken up by the constant lighting up of your smartphone screen, you can (a) either flip your phone over and ignore it or (b) mute the offending group chat. Tap on the group chat of your choice, then the name to bring up Group Info where you will find the option to Mute the chat for eight hours to one week or a year. Alternatively, you can exit it altogether.