There are over a billion WhatsApp users worldwide right now. The bad news? Your mum has already found her new favourite way to spam you. The good news? You can easily avoid her on the down-low, and that’s just one of the messaging service’s many tricks you probably don’t know about.

1. Bookmark Messages By Starring Them

things you could do with whatsapp

Say you have to go to a birthday party but your friend’s address is lost somewhere in the 200+ messages in the group chat called “Annie’s birthday!” Well, instead of going through all the inane bullshit till you find it, you can star important messages by long pressing them and clicking on the star icon. Then when you need to find them, go to settings and click on starred messages. Viola!

2. Create Homepage Shortcuts For Contacts

If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll want to skip this one because there are no homepage tricks in ios devices.

For the Android users amongst you, if you want to add a regular contact or group contact, open the Chat screen and hold your finger down on the contact you want to add a shortcut to. This screen should come up.

Click Add chat shortcut and bosh, there’s now a direct shortcut to that chat stored on your homescreen.

4. Create custom notifications

things you could do with whatsapp

“Ooh! A new message! I wonder who it could possi… oh, it’s just Mum. Never mind.”

Kill off this familiar rise and fall of excitement by giving contacts their own particular notification and trust us, tricks like this do come handy!

Head into the chat of the individual or group you’d like to assign the custom notification for. For iPhone users, click the contact’s name – Android, click the three dot Menu button, then View contact. From here, you’ll be given the option to add Custom notifications – or even mute the conversation altogether.

5. Stop automatically saving photos

things you could do with whatsapp

An Apple fix.

If you’re constantly running out of room due to the vast number of photos kicking about on your Whatsapp account, you might want to turn off the app’s automatic setting to save to the camera roll.

Rather than adjusting this in the app, you need to head to your phone’s Settings, then Privacy, then Photos. Untick the Whatsapp option, and you’ll stop doubling up on photo storage.

6. Reply To Messages Without Even Having To Open The Chat

things you could do with whatsapp

Peeping toms are everywhere. Especially on the metro. If you don’t want people looking at your private chats, you can enable the pop-up option. Instead of having to go to your chat to respond, you can type in your reply into the pop-up and press send. Go to settings, then click on notifications and you’ll see the pop-up options. Choose one from four different privacy settings.

7. Turn off read receipts

things you could do with whatsapp

Head to your Account in the Settings menu. Then hit Privacy. From here you can turn off Read receipts – which will, in turn, render you unable to see when other people have read your own messages. This won’t work for group messages… which means if you really want to get stalking, you can add the contact to a group chat with an extra number (eg. your work mobile). If they’re smart enough, they’ll leave the group – but it’s one of the sly tricks for the desperate amongst us.

8. Use Whatsapp on your PC

things you could do with whatsapp

Does your office have a policy of no mobiles at your desk?

You can still pick up your Whatsapp message via the service’s desktop system. Head to Settings and hit Whatsapp web. This will tell you to head to web.whatsapp.com – from where you’ll see a QR code (probably the only time this technology has served a useful purpose ever). Scan the code with your phone and boom – your contacts and chats will now be available in your web browser.
9. Send messages hands-free
things you could do with whatsapp
Ugh! Typing is a right faff when you want to use your hands for other stuff such as eating, cooking or fine embroidery. Once again WhatsApp has come to the rescue to this most first-world of problems via compatibility with both Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. So you can now dictate any missives to your phone instead of punching them in with your digits like a total chump. How: Shout out ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘OK Google’, then name the contact you want to send a message to and the contents of that message. This is one of those handy tricks that most people don’t know.
10. Change your phone number
things you could do with whatsapp