WhatsApp is hard to beat as an instant messaging service, and it’s also coming into its own as a social network. There’s a very good reason for this.
If you’ve been foolish enough to add your parents or relatives as friends on Facebook, then you might have noticed that it’s a bit more difficult to be yourself on it. WhatsApp, on the other hand, lets you chat with groups of carefully selected friends to your heart’s content.
We’re big fans of WhatsApp here at The Lowdown, so we thought it was high time we came up with a few top tips to help you make the most of it…
1. Lock it down
You don’t need prying parents and nosey friends looking at your WhatsApp messages, right? Luckily, there are apps to protect all your personal chit chat.
Android users can download Chatlock+, and iOS users can go for the less snappily titled Password for WhatsApp Messages.
With these apps successfully installed, nobody else will be able to read your messages. So you now have the freedom to WhatsApp with your best friend’s recent ex-partner long into the night (not that we’ve ever done that).
2. Stop auto-downloads and save data
It’s great to share. Just as long as those never-ending selfies, memes and boring videos from your mates don’t eat into your precious data allowance.
You can get rid of some of your mates of course, but if you think that’s a bit harsh, simply disable auto-downloads instead. The process is the same on Android and iOS:
Select CHATS and tap the three vertical dots on the right (settings).
Then tap Settings, Chat Settings, Media auto-download.
You can then go into the mobile data, Wi-Fi or roaming sections, and choose to de-select images, video and audio.
3. Discover when your message was read
When you send a WhatsApp message to a friend, getting two blue ticks back mean they’ve read your message. But there’s more.
Let’s say you think your message has been ignored. You arranged to meet your friend somewhere but they didn’t turn up, for example. Well, now you can find out exactly what time they read the message by ‘clicking the tick’.
Simply press the message for a couple of seconds and select ‘Info’. This great little feature has the ability to start major arguments, so enjoy!
4. Who would dare block you?
You’re a funny, interesting and popular person, so why would anyone ever think about blocking you? It’s their loss. Forget about them.
But before you forget about them, let’s at least find out who they are…
Now, there’s no magic button that reveals you’ve definitely been blocked by someone. But there are certain clues to look out for.
Check your friend’s ‘last seen at’ message under their name. If it’s not there, it could be cause for suspicion.
If your friend’s profile hasn’t changed for ages, this could be another sign you’ve been blocked. Check what their profile looks like from another account, using another friend’s phone perhaps. If it looks different then someone (and that someone is almost certainly you) has been blocked!
5. Keep a low profile in group chats
WhatsApp is hard to beat for having a good old group chinwag. Being involved in group chats where you don’t know everyone is fine (a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet, after all) but you might want to keep a low profile until you get to know everyone a bit better.
To keep some of your personal details to yourself, tap Settings, Account, Privacy. You can then select who’s allowed to view your profile photo, status and ‘last seen’ information. But remember, if you turn off your own ‘last seen,’ you won’t be able to view anyone else’s.
6. Prank your friends
If you’re looking for a bit of WhatsApp fun, try Yazzy (Android only). This naughty little app lets you create fake WhatsApp message streams - so if you’ve got a friend that can’t resist reading your messages, it’s payback time.
The possibilities are endless. We’ve even heard tales of fake messages announcing unexpected pregnancies, although we obviously can’t condone that sort of behaviour.
Leave a message for your friend to ‘accidentally’ view, and see what happens. If they don’t say anything at the time - but you hear your fake news from someone else later that same day - then you’ve got a friend at the very top of their gossiping game.
Feel free to share any WhatsApp hints and tips of your own below.
Top image: Shutterstock