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The hidden face of WhatsApp: Know what more you can do with the messaging platform

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Throughout the Covid pandemic, the platform played a big role by not just helping us stay connected with others but also streamlining work as the virus forced offices to shut down.

By Shubhangi Shah

WhatsApp is one of the most-used apps, with two billion users worldwide. Despite being widely used, it has managed to stay simple and has retained much of its original features as they were a decade back. Being a messaging platform, it primarily allows you to connect with others. You can share images, videos, GIFs, contacts, locations, etc. Over time, it has expanded to include features such as video calls and even payments. Throughout the Covid pandemic, the platform played a big role by not just helping us stay connected with others but also streamlining work as the virus forced offices to shut down. By now, you might think you have exhausted all its features. But what you might not know is that the platform comes with some discreet features, using which can make your experience easier. Let’s look at some of them one by one:

Text formats

To add some zing to the boring WhatsApp texts, you can bold, italicise them or add strikethrough, just like you do in Microsoft word. Using this feature is simple. To bold, insert an asterisk (*) before and after the text, and to italicise, insert underscore (_) in a similar way. And for strikethrough, insert twiddle (~).

Star texts

There are texts you want might want to refer to later, chats that can carry a deep message, an image, a contact, or a link. You can save them for later by adding a star. To do so, long press on the message and tap on the star at the top. To go back to your Starred Messages, go into the Menu bar on Android and Settings on iPhone.

Know your WhatsApp BFF

Do you want to find out with whom you talk the most on WhatsApp? Just head to WhatsApp Settings, Storage and Data, Manage Data. A list of most interacted with contacts will appear. You can also tap on the individual contacts for more detailed statistics.

Make texts vanish

At times, you might want certain texts to automatically disappear without having to manually erase them. You can do so by tapping on the contact. Next, tap on the name, followed by pressing Disappearing Messages’ and selecting the time after which you want the texts to get automatically deleted.

Custom notifications

Won’t it be easy if you know who texted you before having to look on the phone? Good news, you can do so by adding custom notifications for individual chats. If you are an Android user, open the individual chat, click on the menu bar, then click on Custom notifications. iPhone users, open the chat, click on the name, and tap on Custom Tone.

Mute a chat

While heading for a meeting or an important event, you would want to mute a chatty group or a friend. WhatsApp allows you to do so. Android users just need to long-press the chat following by clicking on the crossed-out speaker option. iPhone users can do so by swiping left the conversation followed by Mute.

Hide chat

While you cannot technically hide a chat, you can archive it to not receive notifications or see it in your usual conversations. If you are an Android user, long-press the chat and press on the archive option right next to the three-dot menu bar. iPhone users need to swipe left and click on the archive icon.

Disable autosave of images, videos

All the images and videos you receive get automatically saved in your phone, messing up its space. To disable that option, open Settings on your Android phone, go to Chats, and turn off the Media visibility option. iPhone users can open their Settings, followed by Chats, and turn off Save to camera roll.

Disable blue tick

A blue double tick allows someone to know you have seen a message. Although a useful tool, it can pressurise you to reply at the earliest. Hence, to turn it off, go to Settings, followed by Accounts, click on Privacy, and turn off the Read Receipts option.

Check if someone has blocked you

The first indication that someone has blocked you is that you’ll not be able to see his/her profile picture, status, and last seen. To confirm, send a text. If a single tick persists forever, it means you have been blocked.

Use on desktop

Generally, you cannot use many of the apps on the desktop. However, it is not the case with WhatsApp. You can use the WhatsApp Web feature to use it on a desktop and make the whole experience smooth.

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