There are over a billion WhatsApp users worldwide right now. The bad news? Your mum has already found her new favorite 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.
1. Hide Blue Ticks
Those blue ticks can get you in a whole world of trouble, especially when you don’t reply instantly and someone sees you have read their messages. You can turn them off, but it’s worth noting that if you do, you won’t get read receipts for your messages either.
Apple users: If you get Siri to read the message, the blue ticks won’t appear so this could be a good way to read a message without the sender knowing you have.
2. See when your messages are read
In group chats, those grey ticks only turn blue when every member of the group has read your message. But there lurks within WhatsApp a handy way to find out who’s neglecting you…
On Android, hold down on a message you’ve sent and select Info, or on iPhone, simply swipe left on the message you want the details on. It’ll show you who it’s been delivered to, who’s read it and when. This also works with individual chats.
3. Find who you talk to most
Who is really your favourite person? It might not be who you think. On iOS, there is a way to find the people you send the most messages to and how much storage each person takes up, among other things.
On mobile go to Settings > Data and Storage Usage > Storage Usage > Select Contact
4. Share your live location
After rolling our live location sharing on Messenger, Facebook rolled out the feature on WhatsApp too. Once you share your live location with someone, they would be able to track wherever you go for the time period you select. The three time frames that can be selected are — 15 minutes, 1 hour and 8 hours.
It is very simple to share one’s live location with their friends. Just open WhatsApp, tap on the ‘Attachment’ icon on the typing space bar and select ‘Location.’ Once you do this, you’ll get two options – ‘Share live location,’ and ‘Send your current location.’ Tap on the former option and select the time frame.
5. Stop people seeing your messages
Ever passed your phone to a friend and instantly panicked about the messages they might see come through? Yeah, we haven’t either. For those that have, you can turn off message preview on iOS so only the contact’s name will appear, rather than their life story, or you can turn off notifications altogether.
In Android, it’s not possible through the WhatsApp app but you can stop private information showing up on your lock screen in Android itself.
Go to your mobile setting > Notifications > Toggle off Show Preview / Settings > Notifications > Toggle off Show Notifications
6. Hide your profile picture
You might not want everyone to see your profile picture, especially if you’re part of several groups where you don’t know everyone in the group. Or perhaps you just fancy being a little mysterious for the day. Either way, you can choose if everyone, no-one, or only your contacts see your picture.
Go to your mobile Settings > Account > Privacy > Profile Photo
7. Mute group chats
With WhatsApp groups only capped at 50 participants, they can sometimes get pretty busy. Prevent yourself from being woken up by incessant messages by muting particular groups.
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 either eight hours, one week or a year. Although if you’re choosing the latter, you might as well leave altogether.
8. Get shortcuts to conversations
If you’re on Android you can create shortcuts to popular chats and let them live on your homescreen: useful if there are certain people you chat to more often.
Tap and hold on the chat (group or individual) of your choice and a tab will pop up. Select the Add Conversation Shortcut option and the chat in question will appear as the person’s profile photo on your mobile desktop.
9. See recent chats without opening WhatsApp
IOS users can see which contacts they have unread messages from without opening the WhatsApp app by adding the WhatsApp Recent Chats widget to their device. Up to eight of your latest chats will appear within the recent chats widget when you swipe left to right from your main home screen or lock screen.
The widget shows the circular profile picture icon with a number of how many unread chats you have from that particular contact. You can then click on the chat you want to read and WhatsApp will open on that specific chat.
Swipe left to right from your lock screen or your main home screen > Scroll down to the Edit icon at the bottom > Add the WhatsApp Recent Chats icon > Rearrange the order of your widgets
10. Send a public message privately
Ever had a free evening and wanted to ask several of your friends if they are around without having to open up each chat to ask them seperately?
You can send a broadcast message to a list of contacts with it appearing as though you’ve asked them individually. Great for saving time, terrible if they all reply yes.
iOS: Chats > Broadcast Lists > New List > Add contacts
Android: Chats > Menu > New Broadcast