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5 hidden WhatsApp features you should probably be using

Using some of these nifty features will surely help you to get along the app better than anyone else. 

whatsapp logo on blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

WhatsApp has become a widely used messaging app among people over time. If someone owns a smartphone, it is fair to assume that he or she would be using WhatsApp. With time, many updates were made regarding the features of the application. These tricks are using official WhatsApp, but you can use third-party WhatsApp mods like GBwhatsapp to get more out of it.

The platform keeps adding features now and then, making the app interesting and engaging. No matter how well-versed you are with this application, there are a few features that might take you by surprise. Given below are five hidden features that are useful, and you may not know about-

1) Messaging numbers that are not in the contact list:

This feature was recently added by the creators. Many times, you need to contact people maybe just once in your lifetime; thus, saving their number does not make sense. Under this feature, you can send messages to people without having them in your contact list. To make use of this feature, all you need to do is go to the URL: “api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=.” 

Suppose you want to message XYZ and they are not in your contact list, you need to enter api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=XYZ. You will be prompted to open the WhatsApp application and redirected it to the particular chat. 

2) Secretly reading the chats without having to open the app

As we all know that the “blue” ticks mean that your message has been read by the recipient. But obviously, you have an option to disable it. You can simply turn off your ‘read receipts’ by tapping on settings-account- and then privacy. Though by turning off read receipts, you won’t be able to see if your close ones have read your messages or not. Another discreet way of reading messages without letting the sender know is by putting your phone on airplane mode first. Once you have done that, open the chat window and read the message you want to. 

After reading, make sure to close the messaging app from multi-window mode and then proceed to turn off the airplane mode. If your app stays open in the background, the app will sync, triggering the blue tick. Another way of reading chat secretly is to add WhatsApp to your widgets on the home screen of your smartphone and turn on message preview in the app. This will let you read all the messages you receive, and the sender won’t even know it. 

3) Getting back WhatsApp photos that got deleted

The company added the feature to retrieve deleted media on WhatsApp. If you deleted some media files accidentally and wish to retrieve it, you can go to the chat in which the media was sent. Tap on the media to download it again. In the WhatsApp server, any deleted media stays for 30 days, and after that, it is erased from there too. While this option exists, it is important to note that it is impossible to retrieve the desired media if you delete the whole conversation. 

4) Images and videos with added location stickers

WhatsApp now allows you to customize your photos or videos where you can add stickers to the media file. You can also tag any location or time sticker beside the regular stickers with emojis. However, only iOS users can access location stickers. 

5) Feature for media visibility 

This “new” feature is made available for iOS users already. WhatsApp has now made this feature available for its Android users too. This feature for media visibility lets you decide if you want the media content to be visible in the gallery or not. A great advantage of having this feature is that you can save a lot of space on your phone by controlling what gets saved in the gallery. 

Some Additional Features Worth Considering

  • Pin chats: Under this feature, you have the liberty to pin any chats that you need to access frequently. If you own an iOS, you can swipe right on the chat for more options. For Android users, you need to simply press and hold on to the chat to access this feature.
  • Data usage: with the new updates, you can keep track of how much data you use. Not only network, but this feature is enabled for keeping tracks of storage on your phone or which contact you chat the most with or who do you share the maximum media files with. All you have to do is open the WhatsApp app, go to settings, and then finally tap on Data and Storage Usage. 
  • App lock: The app lock feature lets you use your biometrics (fingerprints or Face ID) to unlock the app. However, you can answer to audio and video calls on WhatsApp without unlocking the app. 
  • Message details: You can check the time and status of when your message was delivered by tapping on the “info” icon.
  • Muting any conversation: Whenever you feel like not receiving notifications from a certain contact or group, you can simply mute the chat. You have the option to mute the chat for 8 hours, 15 minutes, or even up to 1 year.
  • WhatsApp Web: this feature lets you use WhatsApp on your PC too. All you need to do is visit web.whatsapp.com. Scan the QR code from your phone’s WhatsApp, and you are all set. Make sure your phone has an active connection throughout. 
  • Hiding last seen: If you do not want anyone knowing your last seen on WhatsApp, tap on settings, then account, privacy, and finally tap on “Last Seen.” You will see three options on the screen, namely- Everyone, Nobody, My contacts. Choose as you desire. 
  • Formatting texts: You can italicize, make a text bold, or strike through a text you want. For this, you need to use special characters in front of the text and also after the particular text. For bold, use the asterisk sign (*xyz*), to italicize use underscore (_xyz_), and for strike through use tildes (~strikethrough~). 

Final Takeaway

Make use of these simple yet discreet features and explore the app like never before. Using some of these nifty features will surely help you to get along the app better than anyone else. 

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