WhatsApp is a massive app internationally and has been expanding domestically. Facebook purchased it back in 2014 for a cool $19 billion. The app boasts over 1.5 billion users in over 180 countries. We wanted to dive into its features for first-time users. We are covering some of the basic and more advanced features of the app.
WhatsApp is an application that allows users to text message, call, and video call other users. It enables users to create groups for chatroom like style messaging. To send a message, all you must do is tap the bottom right corner of the screen. The buttons along the top will allow you to call or video call other leaders. WhatsApp uses a data connection to the calls/messages will not go against those portions of your phone plan. If you are hooked on a WiFi network, it is entirely free. This is particularly useful when traveling abroad since you don’t necessarily need an international phone plan.
When you first install the app, you will be required to enter your name. Once in the app, click the three dots in the top right corner to continue filling out your profile. You will be able to change your contact image and fill out an ‘about’ section for yourself.
Upgrade Your Device?
If you happen to get a new device or lose your current one, your data is safe. WhatsApp will automatically back up your conversations to a cloud server. This makes moving the information to a new phone a breeze. WhatsApp’s backup feature is not instantaneous, so it is possible to lose some parts of conversations in between backups. Before you transfer devices, got into the Settings > Chats > Chat Backup. From here, you will be able to back up your data. Unfortunately, you cannot transfer between operating systems. So, if you migrate from iOS to Android or vice versa, you will need to use a third-party backup program.
WhatsApp gives its users added security for their account in the event their phone is stolen. The app’s two-step authentication requires a PIN to be entered anytime a new instance of WhatsApp is set up. To turn on 2FA, you will need to get into the settings of the app. Once there follow Settings > Account > Two-Step verification. Once you switch it on, you will enter a PIN of your choosing.
Sync With Your Computer
Linking your WhatsApp account with will make carrying on your conversations to your computer seamless. Click here to go to the WhatsApp browser site. Click the three dots in the top right part of the screen and select WhatsAppWeb. You will need to scan a QR code that appears on your browser screen. The browser app will keep you logged in so if you share the computer, be sure to sign out.
Remembering Important Messages
WhatsApp will allow its users to ‘star’ important messages thus making it much easier to find them in long conversations. It is similar to ‘liking’ a status, picture, or tweet on other social media platforms. To star a message, tap and hold the message until a popup appears, and then select the star. To view starred messages, once in the chat, select the three dots in the chat screen. Then you will be able to select starred messages.
Make It Yours
WhatsApp gives users the ability to customize the application. You can change the backgrounds in the chat windows. Unfortunately, you cannot change the summary screen or the text bubbles. To change the background, tap the three dots in the chat screen. Next, select wallpaper. From here, you will be able to either choose a picture from your gallery or select a solid color.
If the font size is hard on the eyes, you can make it bigger. This will not strain your eyes or help those who have some visual deterioration. It’s easy to change the font size. Select the settings menu from the summary page, then select Chats > Font Size.
Get out the Ban Hammer
WhatsApp gives you the ability to block annoying people or spam numbers. You can flat out block or just mute people from the conversations. To block someone, head to the chat screen. Then select the three dots > More and Block. If the person is especially persistent after being blocked, you also can report the user.
If you don’t want to entirely block the user, but need to focus on what you are doing, WhatsApp gives you the ability to mute them. To complete this, go to the chat summary screen. Press and hold the chats entry then select the mute icon. Muted messages will still come through and appear; you will not get a notification from them.
WhatsApp does allow messages to be deleted after they have been sent, but everyone’s app in the chat will have to be up to date. Keep in mind that deleting will not necessarily prevent someone from seeing it. Once a message is sent, you only have seven minutes to remove it. To delete a message press and hold the message. Then select delete. Once you choose to delete, you will be asked if you want to delete it for the entire chat or just you. Once you delete a message the spot will be replaced with a text that states ‘this message has been deleted’. The other people in the chat may question what the message said so be prepared.
The app will allow you to export chats as text files in addition to being backed up to the cloud servers. To export a chat, go into the conversation. Select the three dots > More > Export Chat. You will be asked if you want to include media and how to share the items.
There are more cool features that WhatsApp offers, but this crash course will at least get you started. If you found this post interesting or helpful, check our other posts!