WhatsApp is the most used instant messenger in India, and many parts of the world. There are many things we would like to see on WhatsApp, but the fact is that the Facebook-owned company has been making a lot of steady improvements. Today, you can do things like make a video call, or add a GIF, and a whole lot more. Here are some of the not-so-obvious WhatsApp features that you may not be aware of, but will find useful.
1) Two-factor authentication
Recently, WhatsApp rolled out two-factor authentication for its chat service. If you recall, there’s no username and password you need to use WhatsApp - you just need to type your phone number and verify it via an OTP SMS. If someone steals your phone, even if the phone is locked down, they could take out your SIM card and put it in a different phone. With just that much effort, they would have access to your WhatsApp account, as it would just require an SMS to verify the new phone. By enabling two-factor authentication, you can protect yourself from such fraudulent behaviour, as it will ask you to set a six digit passcode, which WhatsApp will ask every time you try to re-verify your account. And in case you forget your passcode, there’s a way to reset it via email too.
2) Reply to a specific message in a group chat
This might have happened to you - while conversing, you reply a little later, and it leaves the other side wondering about the context. In WhatsApp conversations, press and hold on a particular line of text, and hit the backward arrow button that appears on top on Android (or tap ‘reply’ on an iPhone). This lets you quote the particular message in a conversation, which you can comment on. Also, tapping on a quoted WhatsApp reply scrolls the conversation to the position of the original message.
3) Find out who’s read your message in a group chat
In a one-on-one conversation, it is easy to figure out whether the recipient has read your WhatsApp message, thanks to the blue coloured double tick symbol. But in a WhatsApp group conversation, it’s not as obvious to tell who exactly from the group has read your message. There’s actually an easy way to find this out - press and hold the message and hit the ‘i’ button on the top on Android (‘info’ on an iPhone). Here, you’ll get to see how many people from the WhatsApp group have read this particular message. In iOS, you can also just hold and drag the message to the left to go to that menu.
4) Listen to voice messages discreetly
Some people prefer sending WhatsApp voice messages instead of typing text. A common problem with this is that hitting the ‘play’ button makes the voice message play on the speakerphone by default. This may be a problem when you’re in the vicinity of others and would prefer if they didn’t hear it.
The solution is simple - just hit the ‘Play’ button and put the phone to your ear - it will automatically switch from speakerphone to the earpiece and play the WhatsApp voice message back there.
5) Manipulate text for better emphasis
There’s certain syntax that you can apply to manipulate text for better emphasis on WhatsApp. For example, applying an asterisk before and after words (e.g *like so*) makes them appear in bold in the WhatsApp conversation. Similarly, adding underscores (e.g _like this_) makes text appear italicised, and words enclosed inside two tilde symbols (~) strikes them off.
6) Message a user in a group to get their attention
Last but not the least, adding an @name in a WhatsApp group conversation lets you alert other users that they’ve been mentioned inside a group, similar to @mentions on Twitter.
So there you have it. Here’s hoping you discovered a useful WhatsApp feature or two that will make your usage better. Have any tricks of your own to share? Let the world know via the comments below.