CAPE TOWN - WhatsApp has evolved since its inception in 2009, and the messaging app keeps updating its features.
It's safe to say that some of you may not be aware of several WhatsApp features that can, in fact, make your life easier.
There are some basic features we should all know:
Like if you happen to forget to reply to a WhatsApp message, you can simply mark the chat as "unread" and it serves as a reminder to respond to the message.
Another great tip that most people know are how to mute those annoying group chats.
But here are some of the WhatsApp features which you may well not be aware of.
See who read your message in a group chat
To see who read your message in a WhatsApp group, simply long press your sent message and select the Information Key on an Android device to see a list of recipients who have quietly read your message. For iOS devices, simply swipe left or right on your sent message and the list will pop up.
Hide last seen
At times, you may feel like you do not want your WhatsApp presence to be tracked because you may feel obligated to reply to that one message you were avoiding. With WhatsApp’s hide last seen feature, no one will know when you were last on WhatsApp.
How to turn hide last seen on:
Select Settings then Privacy. You will see at the top of the list will be a Last Seen option. Tap on Last Seen and select Nobody. Now, no one will be able to track your last move.
At times, you may find yourself receiving constant WhatsApp texts which comes with constant notification alerts. If you at times want to be left uninterrupted or if the constant notification alerts are all too troublesome, simply mute selected conversations.
You can mute conversations by selecting a contact on WhatsApp then tapping the person’s name which will list the Contact Info. Here, you will see a drop-down list appear which include Media and Links, Starred Messages, Chat Search and Mute. Select the fourth option, Mute and you can choose to mute a conversation for either 8 hours, 1 week or a year. You can also choose to unmute a conversation at any time.
Limit data use
WhatsApp can accumulate lots of space on your device. In order to clear up some space on your device, you can limit data usage. Go to Settings, scroll to data usage option and you can limit the files that WhatsApp will automatically download.
On an iOS device, you can see how much space your chats takes up on your device. Go to Settings, Data and Storage Usage and then select Storage Usage. You can then clear space on your device by removing media content that you no longer need such as pictures or videos.
Some chats may be more important than others which is why you would want to receive these chats first amongst all the other chats. You can do this by pinning your chats on WhatsApp. On iOs, open WhatsApp then scroll to your chats screen. Select the chat that you want to pin and simply scroll from left to right. You will see two options appear, unread or pin. Select pin and this contact will appear at the top of your chat list.
You can customise notifications from certain chats by enabling a custom notification. Select your chat and tap the "tap bar" next to the contact’s name then scroll to Custom Notifications and you will be able to customise the chat too your own leisure.
Type hands free
This applies strictly for iOS users. You can type handsfree to WhatsApp by simply prompting Siri to send a WhatsApp message. Long-press your home button and command Siri to send a WhatsApp message. Siri will then type out the message, as narrated by you and will send the message to your WhatsApp contact.
Star messages is simply another tool for prioritising certain chats. By starring messages, you highlight it as important.
You can star messages by tapping on the message you want to star until a pop up icon appears at the top of the screen.
Mark chats as unread
If you accidentally open a message or open a message without the intention of replying immediately, you can mark it as unread. This allows you to not lose track of messages that you need to reply to.
Go to chats and long press a conversation you want to mark as unread. Then tap Mark as Unread and a green dot will appear next to the conversation you marked.
You can hide previews of your WhatsApp messages which disable messages from popping up on your Home Screen.
Go to WhatsApp Settings then Notifications, scroll to the bottom and tap View in Lock screen and scroll it off.
Your messages will now be safely stored in WhatsApp and only be viewed once you open your WhatsApp.
Email entire conversations
You can email entire WhatsApp conversations. For Android, go to your conversations menu and select email chat. For iOS, select more in your conversations menu and select email chat.
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