We’re huge fans of the WhatsApp messaging service. Offering free, cross-platform text, multimedia, voice messaging, and free voice and video calls, what’s not to like? Chances are you’ve been using it on your phone for a while now, but you may not have spent any time tinkering under the hood to get next-level good at WhatsApp. We’ve taken some time to really drill down into the app to find its special tips, tricks, tweaks, hacks, and secret features so you can become a WhatsApp expert.
1. Make WhatsApp messages automatically disappear
While we wouldn’t suggest activating this functionality for your bae’s message history, the ability to have WhatsApp messages automatically disappear after a certain period of time is useful to keep more noisy chats manageable.
It is possible to change a setting that means all future messages in a certain chat will be automatically deleted from your phone after seven days. Do be aware though that this doesn’t mean someone hasn’t screenshotted or shared any messages in the meantime.
To enable this feature, go into the WhatsApp chat you want to change the settings for, and at the top of your screen click on the person’s or the group chat’s name. In the menu screen that next appears, scroll down until you see the “Disappearing messages” option and tap it to toggle it on.
This means the messages will disappear for everyone, but do note that you can only activate this option for group chats where you are the admin.
2. Change your WhatsApp chats background
If you’re still stuck with the default WhatsApp wallpaper for your chats, then ya basic! It’s super simple to change it out for a more interesting choice.
To do it, go into WhatsApp and click on the cog-shaped Settings icon. Select Chats from the next menu screen that appears, then tap on Chat Wallpaper. This will then bring up your further options.
You can choose to use one of WhatsApp’s preloaded images from its gallery (it’s worth having a browse, there are some pretty sweets pics), change your wallpaper to a solid color, or use an image from your own photos.
If you select one of WhatsApp’s images you will be prompted to select whether you want the image to remain still or move slightly by choosing the “perspective” view.
3. Use bold, italic, and crossed out text in WhatsApp chats
You can make your WhatsApp text messages more interesting — and get your points across better — by using bold text, italics, and even crossing text out with a strikethrough.
For bold text, simply add an *asterisk* to either side of the word or phrase. Adding an _underscore_ to either side of the word or phrase creates italic text. To strikethrough text, add a ~tilde~ to either side of the word or phrase.
4. Use the secret WhatsApp typewriter font
Did you know WhatsApp has a secret font you can use to make your messages stand out from the crowd? You can use a special sequence of symbols to activate an old school typewriter-style typeface.
To do it, you simply need to add three slanting apostrophes: “`.
Note that on iOS this is not the standard apostrophe you will see in your main keyboard view. You have to press and hold the apostrophe sign to see the correct symbol to use — you want to select the first one that slants diagonally downwards from left to right.
5. Reply to a specific message within a WhatsApp chat thread
Group chats on WhatsApp can get seriously noisy, and messages can come flying in from all directions when things get a bit busy. If someone messaged something that you want to reply to that would not make sense to post in a chronological way, you can go back to that past message to highlight it and reply directly.
This makes the original message, with your reply beneath, appear at the bottom of your chat screen. To do this, press and hold on the message until a menu pops up from which you can select Reply.
Alternatively, and a quicker method, is simply to swipe on the message you want to reply to from left to right.
6. Pin a WhatsApp chat to the top of your chats screen
This is a really useful hack to keep a chat thread visible at the top of your Chats screen. If you want to give any of your chats top billing, simply swipe on the chat from left to right and tap on the drawing pin icon that appears.
This will move that chat to the top of your chats screen so it’s always immediately visible. This also adds a pin icon to the chat so you know it’s been pinned. To undo this action, simply swipe the chat again to unpin it. You can pin up to three chats at one time.
7. Broadcast a personal WhatsApp message to multiple contacts
It’s possible in WhatsApp to send the same message to multiple contacts without them being in a group chat or even seeing who else received the message. Useful if you want to share important news with an announcement, or if you want to wish everyone seasonal greetings. It’s quick and simple to do.
From your chats screen on iOS, tap on Broadcast Lists at the top right of your screen, then New List at the bottom, and then add the recipients you want to get the message. On Android devices, you need to choose New Broadcast from the chats menu.
Any messages you send using this method will be received as individual messages in WhatsApp chat threads.
8. Give yourself more time to read WhatsApp messages before they are marked as read
We all know that those two ticks below WhatsApp messages turn blue when the message has been seen, which puts you under pressure to reply. On iOS, if you want to get a sneak preview of a WhatsApp message before it’s marked as read, you can tweak your notification settings to ensure a preview of the message appears on your home screen and stays there until you manually dismiss it.
To set this useful feature up, ensure that you have message previews enabled in your WhatsApp settings menu. Check this by going to Settings, then Notifications, then toggling Show Preview to on.
Next, go to your iPhone settings menu and select Notifications, then scroll down to find WhatsApp. In the next screen, ensure your notifications are enabled, then tap on Banner Style and change it to Persistent.
This now means the previews of any WhatsApp messages you receive will remain on your iPhone’s home screen until you dismiss them and the person who has sent the message won’t get the blue ticks to say you’ve read it until you actually go into the app.
9. Customize alert tones for different WhatsApp chat threads
You can customize the sound alert tone you hear when you receive a WhatsApp message from any contact or group. This is very useful because it means you can differentiate between group chats that you might not necessarily need to keep up with in real time and important direct messages from your loved ones.
To give a WhatsApp group or contact a custom tone, go into the chat and tap on the person’s or group’s name at the top of the screen. Scroll down to Custom Tone and click through. You can then change the default tone to one you know you’re either safe to ignore or one that you know means you need to grab your phone stat.
What’s up on WhatsApp
Hopefully, you’ll have found some useful tips, tricks, tweaks, and more within this list. From buying yourself time to reply to messages, to making your messages stand out with a different font, there are some great tricks here for all users of the popular WhatsApp messaging platform.
Cover image sourced from New Straits Times.