WhatsApp Messenger has become the app of choice for millions of users who want to send text messages for free. But there’s plenty more to the application than just typing a message and sending it. There’s lots of features in WhatsApp that can make chats more enjoyable – and perhaps you don’t know all of them.
Here, we list ten things you can do with WhatsApp that are not immediately obvious in the application. Some are available only in the Android version of WhatsApp, while others can be enjoyed across all the platforms that have the app.
1. Send WhatsApp conversation history to someone
You can send an entire conversation history from WhatsApp via email. In Android, click on the Menu option in a conversation (it’s on the bottom-right of the screen), go to ‘More‘ and select ‘Email Conversation‘, before entering the address of the recipient. WhatsApp will create an email with the whole text conversation, including any pictures, voice or video clips.
In WhatsApp for iOS, go to Settings and choose ‘Email chat history‘.
2. Change the WhatsApp chat wallpaper
You don’t always have to stare at the same, boring background in the chat screen. You can choose a background to appear in this window by going to the ‘Wallpaper‘ option in the chat menu. You can either select a picture that’s on your Android phone, or choose to use one of the delightful backgrounds in the WhatsApp Wallpaper app. This app is automatically downloaded when you choose the ‘WhatsApp‘ option in the Wallpapers menu.
In the iOS version, choose ‘Conversation Settings‘ in the Settings menu and tap ‘Chat Wallpaper‘, before choosing which image you want.
3. Save photos you’ve received
The images and videos that you’re sent in WhatsApp chats remain stored on your device in the WhatsApp\media\WhatsApp Images folder. In Android, you can view these images in the Gallery, and can share them on Facebook, apply them as contact photos, and more. In iOS, WhatsApp images are stored in the Photos app.
In WhatsApp for Android, you can see all the files you’ve sent and received by clicking on the Media button in the chat menu.
4. Make back-ups of your WhatsApp conversations
If your WhatsApp conversations are important to you, it’s a good idea to make backups of them so that you don’t lose them if there’s a problem with the app. To do this, go to the Settings menu, choose ‘Chat preferences’, then click on the Chat history backup option.
Don’t worry about remembering to make daily backups, because WhatsApp automatically saves a copy of your conversations at 4AM each day.
5. Use the Enter key to send WhatsApp messages
How often do you write multiple lines of text in a single WhatsApp chat message? Surely not very often. As such, the Enter key on your phone is not really of much use. There’s an option in WhatsApp, however, that lets you use the Enter key on the Android virtual keyboard to send messages instead of having to press the Send button in WhatsApp.
To enable the option, go to ‘Chat preferences‘ within the Settings menu and check the ‘Enter is send‘ box. This option is not available in the iOS version of WhatsApp.
6. Create shortcuts to WhatsApp conversations
If you’re a WhatsApp addict, then you probably get fed up with launching the app every time you want to speak to someone. In the Android version of the app you can create shortcuts to conversations that appear on your home screen so that you don’t even need to open the application to pick up on conversations – just tap the icon with the name of the contact.
To set this up, choose ‘More‘ in the chat menu and tap the ‘Add conversation shortcut‘ option.
7. Choose a WhatsApp profile picture
It’s possible to set your own WhatsApp profile picture, by going into Settings and choosing ‘Profile‘. Just tap on the existing profile image and select a picture you’d like to replace it with. You can pick an image that’s stored on your phone already, or snap a photo using your device’s camera.
This image then shows up as your profile picture in WhatsApp on someone else’s phone, rather than the contact picture they have set for you on their device.
8. Send much more than just text
Don’t settle for just sending text messages through WhatsApp: you should also take advantage of the various other sharing options the app has. With WhatsApp, you can also send pictures, videos, voice messages, your location, and even contacts.
9. Change your WhatsApp status
You can change your status message in WhatsApp to reflect what you are doing, and warn people why you aren’t available to chat. This status message then appears next to your name when you appear in people’s contact lists.
There’s a Status option within the main WhatsApp menu, and you can type your own message or choose one of the preset status messages in the list.
10. Broadcast a WhatsApp message to many contacts
If you need to quickly get a message out to more than one person at a time, the easiest way to do this is to ‘broadcast’ a message in WhatsApp.
Just select the ‘Broadcast message‘ option in the More menu and select the contacts you want to send it to. Now type your message and hit ‘Send‘.
If you want even more WhatsApp, we answer 10 of your most burning WhatsApp questions.