WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) has recently introduced bold, italics and strike-through text, an update which pays homage to Microsoft Word. This move by the popular messaging service proves that people are communicating in new, and seemingly more creative, ways. As the app's popularity is constantly growing, here are a few tips and tricks to master sending (or avoiding) messages.
1. Use bold, italic, and strike-through to their full effect
As previously mentioned, this new feature allows you to alter the tone and meaning of what you're trying to say. Although perfect for emphasising your point, it's a tad more effort than what we're used to. Still, when used correctly, gone are the days of misinterpreting and misunderstanding each other. To italicise text, simply place an underscore (_) on either side of the message; to embolden, it's an asterisk (*); and to strike-through, use tildes (~).
2. Mute group chats
Group chats are perfect for organising an event/dinner/meet with a large group. But whilst the details are being arranged, there's always the conversationalists adding hours of banter and nonsensical arguments, which are guaranteed to annoy somebody. All hail the mute button! Ranging from eight hours to an entire year, this handy function is located in the top right of the chat, allowing you some peace and quiet when the bants just aren’t worth bearing.
2a. Broadcast messages
To avoid the group chat altogether, WhatsApp allows you to broadcast one message to several recipients, creating an individual message, cutting out the middlemen and getting straight to the point. Boom!
Turning off those blue ticks means that you can avoid the “I know you've read it” messages from a group or person that you're ignoring (we've all been there). Simply go to Settings – Account – Privacy – Read Receipts and read as much (or as little) as you wish, judgement-free.
3a. Last Seen
Similar to the blue ticks, the Last Seen feature is a massive giveaway that you've been online but not replied to a message. Settings – Account – Privacy – Last Seen allows you to choose who, if anyone, can see when/if you're online at any time. Problem solved.
3b. Seeing when your message was read
Alternatively, if you're on the other side of the spectrum, and you're trying to track someone down, you can see if and exactly when they received and read your message. Just hold down on your message and click the Info tab at the top. This displays the date and times each recipient read the message, giving insight into who may be avoiding it.
4. Using WhatsApp on a bigger screen
For those who aren't constantly glued to their phone (if such a person exists) but don't want to miss out on important messages and group chats, you can now use WhatsApp on a desktop computer (similar to Messenger). In Settings, select the WhatsApp Web tab, which will direct you to the app’s website and ask you to scan a custom QR code. It really is as simple as that, presenting another welcome distraction at work with minimal chance of being caught by the boss (apologies to any bosses reading this).
5. Stop unwanted images from clogging up your phone's memory
WhatsApp is great for sending media back and forth, hassle-free. However, you may not want to keep some of this data on your phone (we all have that inappropriate friend). To stop images/videos from automatically saving to your mobile, go to Settings – Chats and turn off the Save Incoming Media option.
5a. Data usage
As well as using up your memory, the constant downloading of media consumes heaps of data. (If you think your data runs out quicker than it should, blame your meme-heavy friends.) To rectify this, go to Settings – Data Usage and change when media can be downloaded.
6. Add your favourite group/contacts to your home screen
To save precious talking time, you can now add your most talked to contacts to your home screen for ease of access. Simply hold down on the chat to reveal a range of options, choose Add chat shortcut and you're away. Yet another means of shaving precious seconds from your busy day of digital chinwagging.
Author: Harriet Brown