For the record, social media has become an integral part of of our lives and has completely replaced the good ol’ text message. There’s hardly anyone we know who isn’t using these social media platforms; Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, LINE, WeChat, Messenger, Viber to name a few. Notably, Facebook-owned instant messaging platform; WhatsApp has over 1.2 billion monthly users becoming the 2nd to Facebook most used social media platforms in the world.
However, there are a lot of things that you can do on WhatsApp that most people might have not an idea of, apart from sending and receiving messages, photos and other media files.
In our Editor’s Pick this week, we give you a list of 8 things that will make enhance the functionality of using WhatsApp:
1. Pin your 3 favorite chats
This is one of WhatsApp updates I have loved this year. The feature was rolled out globally in May to all its apps, to allow users to pin 3 of their favorite chats on top of the others. There are times when you want your most important chats on the top of your conversation list, so I guess the feature might help you out on this.
How to use: You have to long press on the chat from that person/group and then from the pop options >> press the ‘pin icon that appears right next to delete, mute and archive icons on the top of the page. Once activated, it will remain on the top of your chat list, irrespective of your dialogue or conversation timings with the individual or group concerned.
2. Format your texts
Introduced last year in June, this feature allows you to change you text messages either bold, strikethrough, or italics whatever case it might be to you. Somehow, changing formats of text on WhatsApp never really caught on but now, the option is now commonly used, and WhatsApp has even revamped it the more.
How to use: After done with writing that message of yours, you can bold, italicize, or strikethrough a few of your texts. With bolds, use asterisks ‘*’ before and after the text (*this is bold*). For italics, make sure the text is preceded and followed by an underscore sign ‘_’ before and after you text (_this is italics_). Lastly, strikethrough, use the ‘~’ before and after your text (
~this is strikethrough~).
3. Chatting in multiple languages
English isn’t the only language in which you can communicate on WhatsApp. You would be glad to know that WhatsApp supports a number of regional languages. However, sad news is that this feature is limited to some countries.
How to use: If you ever want to type in a different language, open WhatsApp >> Go to Settings >> Select Chats >> Click on App Language (if you don’t see this option, then this feature isn’t available to your country). You can then pick the language you wish to type in.
4. Customize your notifications
This feature allows you to have customized notifications for certain contacts? to differ them from the rest of your contacts.
How to use: Open the contact you wish to customize notifications for, click on the top bar, and select Custom Notifications.
5. Who read your message
The option of turning read receipts and last seen off causes a lot of trouble to some WhatsApp users since it becomes hard to know if the receipt has read your message or they are simply ignoring you. This all ends since WhatsApp has a feature that allows to check and see if your message has been read. This feature was made first available to WhatsApp groups earlier this year before it came to individual messages.
How to use: Long press on the message you have sent and then on the top bar of the chat, you will be able to see the “i” icon, select the option and you will be able to see if your message has been read. In groups, it shows how many have read your message and how many remain to read it, in addition also shows who the message has been delivered to. On the other hand, you can only know the exact time of your message being read if the person does not have read receipts and last seen off.
6. Turn off receipts
Chances are you already know about this one. But we’ll mention it for those who don’t know about this feature. This feature shows the sender that you haven’t read their messages even if you’re online at the moment and you have seen and read the message but you ignore it. (This is good for avoid people)
How to use: You can turn off read receipts on WhatsApp by going to Settings >> Selecting Account >> Clicking on Privacy and then deselecting Read receipts.
7. Turn off last seen
Do you feel that people getting to know when you last opened your WhatsApp is intrusive? or you just tired of stalkers. WhatsApp lets you get rid of such people. Using this option, you won’t be able to see other people’s last seen.
How to use: Just go to Settings >> Select Account >> Click on Privacy >> Choose Last Seen and then select the most suitable option.
8. Minimize on your data usage – switch off auto downloads
Almost on a daily basis you perhaps receive a multitude of photos and videos on WhatsApp — half of them are actually not needed. If you are a part of any pesky Groups on WhatsApp, chances are you’ll be getting a lot of “Good Morning, have a nice day” type of pictures and videos on a regular basis. You can manage what gets downloaded automatically and what doesn’t.
How to use: Go to Settings >> Select Data usage >> Choose the most appropriate options. We recommend that you only do auto updates when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. To save you mobile data, turn off all the auto downloads.
Editor’s Note: You need to have the latest version of WhatsApp in order to use some of these features. Features like Pinning Chats.