In this ever-evolving era, who doesn’t even know about WhatsApp? But, there must be a lot of you who don’t completely know all about WhatsApp. In this article, we will discover all the facts about one of the top three social media of 2020. Ready, set, go!
What is WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a free multi-platform messaging app that allows you to make video and audio calls, text messages, and more with just a Wi-Fi connection.
Launched in 2019, WhatsApp is now one of the most used texts and voice messaging apps. It’s a free app, you can send messages, host video calls, and make voice calls both on desktop and mobile devices.
With over 2 billion users all around the world, this app is especially popular to family and friends who need to stay in touch despite the huge distances. WhatsApp’s worldwide popularity is due to its cross-platform features, accessibility, and simple and straightforward functionality.
WhatsApp is not only easy to use, but also offers more features and customization than traditional SMS messaging, all for free. If you are familiar with the app, you will be interested in our favorite WhatsApp tips and tricks.
However, if you are a beginner, you will definitely want to check out the guide below. From how to register to the best features of WhatsApp, here’s everything you need to know to get started.
So how does WhatsApp work?
The biggest advantage of WhatsApp is that you can send and receive calls and messages using only your internet connection. Despite this, it is almost free to use and is ideal for international calls. There are no subscription fees and no data plan payments to worry about.
WhatsApp uses your phone’s cellular or Wi-Fi connection to facilitate messaging and voice calls to almost anyone on the planet, alone or in groups, and is perfect for families and small collaboration groups. With this application you can make phone calls, send and receive messages, documents, photos and videos. WhatsApp is completely free. There are no charges or subscriptions. This is because you use your phone’s 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G, EDGE, or Wi-Fi connection instead of your phone plan’s voice or text plan. When connected via Wi-Fi, it doesn’t consume your data plan. Its popularity is backed by support for free calls around the world, even if the person you are chatting with is not in the same country.
WhatsApp is similar to other messaging services like iMessage or Google Messages, but it still offers some key benefits. Most importantly, it is cross-platform functionality (for example between Android and iOS).
At first glance, WhatsApp may seem like a text messaging app, but WhatsApp can do a lot more. Here is a brief summary of the main features of WhatsApp.
- Voice and Video Calls: Apart from voice calls, WhatsApp also offers video calling including a group feature which allows up to 8 participants in one call.
- Voicemail: You can record voice messages and send them to individual chats or group chats.
- Secure Messages: WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, a secure communication standard that allows only the person sending the message to read your message.
- Share Photos and Videos: You can send videos, photos and GIFs without worrying that your images will break or won’t download. This can sometimes happen in SMS messages between different mobile platforms and wireless carriers.
- Document Sharing: With WhatsApp, you can send all kinds of documents like PDFs, spreadsheets and slideshows without the hassle of sending emails or separate document sharing apps.
- Desktop Access: WhatsApp offers a desktop version for Mac and PC.
- WhatsApp Business: WhatsApp-only business accounts are designed to help entrepreneurs showcase their products and connect with customers on a comfortable and familiar platform.
How to use WhatsApp
Below are the guides for you to use WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is available on all popular app stores on all major platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Mac and PC. This application is completely free. Just install and run it like any other smartphone application. You’ll be asked a series of setup questions, such as a phone number, country code, and availability notifications.
If you have used WhatsApp before, you may be asked if you want to restore your chat history. This is your only chance. If you are using the app for the first time, you can skip recovery. Then enter your name and profile picture. Next, allow WhatsApp to access your contacts.
Just enter your phone number and the app will send you an SMS message confirming your phone number and country code. If you make a mistake, you can renumber it.
Unlike other platforms, WhatsApp does not use a custom username. In contrast, WhatsApp identifies people by number. This means that everyone using WhatsApp is automatically added to your contact list, making setup easy.
Once you’re up and running, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with what you can do with WhatsApp, from making international calls to sending voice messages.
Sending messages and joining groups
Setting up a WhatsApp account allows you to send messages to any contact or group via the platform.
Starting a chat is easy. In the app, select the “chat” icon from the menu at the bottom of the screen and then select the “new chat” icon in the upper right corner. Just select a contact from there.
To start a group chat, you can accommodate up to 256 participants.
Making voice and video calls
Aside from text messages, you can also use voice and video calls using WhatsApp. There are many ways to make calls from WhatsApp, but you can only make calls from the mobile app version of WhatsApp, not the desktop version. You can make private or group calls with audio or video for free on WhatsApp.
Making free international calls
As mentioned, free calls around the world for family and friends are WhatsApp’s most popular feature. As explained in our guide to using WhatsApp internationally, you don’t have to worry about international restrictions or fees if you have Wi-Fi access.
Even if you use WhatsApp without a Wi-Fi connection, you will only use data instead of accumulating SMS or cellular charges. There are so many cellular plans today that offer unlimited data so you don’t have to worry about finding Wi-Fi access.
Sharing photos and other media
WhatsApp is a convenient and free way to send all kinds of media to your friends and family. Photos and videos can be sent via private or group chat, and images retain their original resolution quality because WhatsApp uses the Internet rather than a mobile data network.
Here are the files you can send from WhatsApp:
- GIFs: There are many ways to send GIFs on WhatsApp. The easiest way is to select a GIF from WhatsApp’s internal library.
- Memojis: You can combine your personalized Memoji avatars into WhatsApp messages using iOS 13 or later.
- Documents: From text documents to PDF, you can send up to 100MB.
- All File Types: Actually WhatsApp supports all file types, from zip archives to HTML files.
Sending voice messages
You can send voice messages in private or group chats on WhatsApp. This is a useful feature if you can’t type text or want to record your voice to make the point.
To send a voice message, open WhatsApp Chats and long press the microphone icon to the right of the Type text box. While recording, you can see the timer starting to go up. When you lift your finger from the button, the message will be sent immediately.
Managing your WhatsApp contacts and messages
Now that you have mastered the basics, WhatsApp offers tons of features for managing your contacts and conversations. For example, you may see a check mark or two next to a message on WhatsApp. The number and color on the check mark indicate whether the message was sent, delivered, or read.
WhatsApp Data Usage
WhatsApp’s reputation is that it uses an internet connection to send and receive messages, but if you don’t have Wi-Fi, you have the option to use your cellular data.
This is the time to keep an eye on your arrangements. Fortunately, WhatsApp makes it easy to control your data usage.
If you have a limited amount of data and don’t want to be charged for excess data, you can turn off WhatsApp’s Mobile Data Usage feature so you can only access it when you have internet access.
To check the amount of data used by an application, go to the application’s “Settings” menu and select “Data & Storage Usage”. Here you can change the “Media Auto Download” setting so that media such as photos, videos, audios, and documents are only downloaded when connected to Wi-Fi.
You can also choose to use WhatsApp in a “low data” setting by switching the “low data usage” button to “on”. For a detailed analysis of your data usage, click “Network Usage” to see how much data is used by category, such as messages sent and received, bytes sent or received via chat, etc.
Privacy and security
One of the reasons WhatsApp is so popular is that unlike SMS, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, so that only the recipient of the message cannot see the message.
WhatsApp has several advanced security features. It has end-to-end encryption very similar to iMessage and Apple’s Signal. All messages passing through the platform are secure, so only the sender and recipient can see it. This means WhatsApp won’t be able to read your messages even if you want them to. The app does not store any personal information and can only send messages to people who have approved it as a contact. With the increasing number of internet services like Google and Facebook, WhatsApp uses two-factor authentication, so you need to enter a second password sent to your phone via text message to access your account. Group messages may conflict with some privacy settings, but if you have blocked someone, group messages may still appear in the group messages you can see.
If you need additional security, you can set up two-factor authentication in WhatsApp’s Settings menu. Here you can choose to add a PIN or personal identification number to prevent anyone from malicious access to your account.
Whether you are trying to meet a friend or want someone to know exactly where you are, you can also share your location on WhatsApp. To share your location on WhatsApp, simply tap on the “+” icon to the left of the input text box in the chat and select “Location”.
WhatsApp has helped shape the latest communications as we know it, and we are constantly rolling out updates to improve your experience. As Facebook’s second largest asset with billions of dedicated users, WhatsApp is unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Aside from all those guides and functions above that explain the main purpose of WhatsApp, there are still some advantages you could get from WhatsApp. Not only for family and friends, you could use your WhatsApp for business.
If you are a small-scale business with no budget for upgrades on your customer service, fine. Use regular features of WhatsApp. But, if you have some more budget to make your customer service top-notch, you can use WhatsApp Business API.
You can actually use WhatsApp Business API for free. But when your business has grown larger and needs to invest more time into customer service for a lot of customer messages, you can use WhatsApp with the help of a third party to optimize it.
Omnichannel messaging platforms will optimize your WhatsApp as a business platform, be it as a sales, marketing, or support aspect. One of the most trusted omnichannel messaging platforms is OneTalk. Using OneTalk as your third party help will boost your sales marketing and support using WhatsApp.
Even still, you can even use other messaging platforms also other than WhatsApp. With this, you can integrate multiple messaging platforms into a single dashboard that can be accessed with multiple agents.
With this “extras” you could optimize your WhatsApp accounts for your customers.