Ever chat with people

Watch out! Nine WhatsApp tips that hardly anyone knows - hidden functions

Chat with friends for free, set up group chats for the family and send photos around the world - of course, you can do it all with WhatsApp. But the messenger service can do a lot more. Here are nine tips to try.

WhatsApp always delights its users with new functions. In 2017, for example, a function was added that allows you to tell your friends your current location. Word of such great innovations gets around quickly. But these nine functions that beginners and casual users easily overlook are rather unknown:

1. Use WhatsApp on your computer

WhatsApp messages can be typed in much faster using the PC keyboard when you're sitting at the computer anyway. There are two ways to do this: Either download the desktop app for Mac or Windows here. Or you can go to web.whatsapp.com to chat directly in your web browser. Since version 7.47, the t-online.de browser has even had its own button at the top right for this.
First a QR code appears in the window, which you have to scan with the camera of the smartphone in order to synchronize the computer with the mobile phone app. To do this, tap on the app menu (the three dots in the top right) and then on "WhatsApp Web" and point the camera at the symbol. The cell phone must be connected to the internet. Shortly afterwards, the chat window opens with all your usual contacts and the previous chat history. When you're done, don't forget to sign out again.

Android users take note: Android Messenger now offers a very similar function. With the new SMS format, Google wants to create an alternative to the various messenger apps.

2. Access files directly on the computer

It doesn't always have to be photos: Any files with a size of up to 128 megabytes can be sent via WhatsApp on iOS. It's 100 megabytes on Android. This can be your favorite song, a Word document, the presentation for the next meeting or a contact from the phone book. Simply press the little paperclip symbol in the chat window and all options will open. Using the web browser application, you can also upload files from your own computer and send them directly to other people's mobile phones.

3. Add close friends to the home screen

For chat partners with whom you write particularly often, there is a shortcut for the smartphone's start screen. To do this, open the person's chat, go to settings and then to "More" and "Add shortcut"to create a shortcut. The small symbol is first automatically placed in the next free space on the start screen and can be placed using" drag and drop "(press and hold the symbol briefly).

4. Remember messages

If you want to remember messages for later and find them easily again, it is advisable to mark them with an asterisk. This is how it works: Press the message for a few seconds until it has a blue background and a menu opens at the top of the screen. You can also mark several messages one after the other and give them an asterisk together.

5. Find out how much time has passed between delivery and reading of a message

Two gray ticks behind a message indicate that it has been delivered to the recipient. As soon as he has read them, they turn blue. But how much time has passed before the recipient has opened it? You can find out by holding down the message, then pressing the three small dots in the top right corner and here on "info". There you will find the time when the message was received and when it was read.

6. Quote in group chat

The more people in a group communicate with each other, the harder it becomes to follow the conversation. It becomes clearer with the help of the "quote" function. To do this, press and hold messages and press the left arrow in the context menu (Reply). The original message is then added to your message. So everyone knows what the answer is referring to and there is a little order in the chaos of a group chat.

7. Broadcast instead of group chat

In a group chat, everyone talks at once and everyone can see what is being discussed. With the broadcast function, on the other hand, you can send mass messages to the entire phone book or selected contacts, but the answers remain private. To the recipient, it looks like a normal personal message. Only the sender knows that the message was also sent to many other recipients at the same time. This is useful, for example, when you want to invite a lot of people to a party who don't know each other.

The broadcast function can be found in the menu. Many just don't know what's behind it.

8. Format text

Not only emojis can help emphasize what is written. WhatsApp also allows you to format the text. For example, to bold words, they must be put in asterisks (*). An underscore before and after the word makes it appear italic. Crossing out a word works with the approximate sign (~). So WhatsApp turns * bold * into fat, becomes _ italic_ italic. The characters can also be combined, for example: * _bold and italic_ * becomes bold and italic. Try it!

Knowing this feature is also handy for detecting hoax or spam. For example, WhatsApp chain letters are circulating that try to trick the user into thinking that they are error messages. Of course, professional users know that anyone can create such text messages themselves.

9. Creative status updates for close friends

WhatsApp has copied this from Snapchat: If you take a picture in the app, you can then edit it with various filters, decorate it with emojis or drawings and much more. Similar to a social network, these works can then be displayed in the form of status reports. These disappear automatically after 24 hours.

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