Want to be a WhatsApp power user? It’s probably not as hard as you think. WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messenger – and it’s time you started using it to its full potential. With that in mind, here are our top 5 favorite WhatsApp tips and tricks.

5) Control your Privacy Settings

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never ventured into the WhatsApp privacy menu. What I don’t know can’t hurt me, right?

Well, WhatsApp isn’t great about privacy by default. It lets unknown people read your status, for example, and view your profile picture. People can also see when you’re online and when you’ve read their messages.

To adjust these settings, go to the Settings menu in the top right corner (it’s the three vertical dots). Then, click Settings. After that, go to Account and Privacy.

Each of the privacy settings comes with a level for Everyone, My Contacts, and Nobody. You can set it so that nobody sees your profile picture, for example, or only allow friends to see your profile picture. You can adjust all of the following settings:

-Last Seen: This tells users the last time you were seen online (the time is displayed under your name).

-Profile Photo: Hide your main profile photo from others.

-Status: Displays the status attached to your username.

-Read Receipts: Tells people when you’ve read their messages (i.e. the two blue checkmarks that appear after someone has read your message).

WhatsApp will kinda punish you if you disable the Last Seen and Read Receipt options. If you disable those two options, then you won’t be able to see the Last Seen status or Read Receipts from your friends, so it’s a double-edged sword.

4) Send One Private Message to Multiple People

You’ve got a birthday party coming up. You want all your WhatsApp friends to come. But you don’t feel like copying and pasting the message into each conversation.

That’s where the WhatsApp private messaging function comes in handy. This function lets you send a message – like an invitation – to multiple people.

All you need to do is create a broadcast list to send the messages to all of your contacts in the list and then monitor your replies.

To send a broadcast, tap on the main menu on the top-right corner and click New broadcast from it. Now, add people to the list and tap on “Create”. Then, you’ll be able to send messages to all of the people in your list and keep track of their replies in the same place (it all appears under one conversation window for you, but they can’t see each other).

Your recipients just see a private message, but you get all of the invitation responses in the same place. It’s like a group chat for you, and a private message for everyone else.

3) Add a Contact Chat Shortcut to your Homescreen

I don’t know about you, but I only use WhatsApp to keep in touch with a couple of people. If you’re like me, then you may want to add a chat shortcut to your homescreen. This places a shortcut to that chat directly on your homescreen (the shortcut looks like the person’s profile picture).

To do that, go to the Chats section of WhatsApp and tap and hold on the chat you wish to add to your homescreen. Then, tap Add chat shortcut to immediately place that icon on your homescreen.

Anytime you want to open your WhatsApp chat window with that person, you can tap their pretty face directly from your homescreen.

2) Check When Messages Were Read

By default, WhatsApp tells you if your messages were read (the two blue checkmarks). But it doesn’t actually tell you when your messages were read.

There’s actually an easy way to view this information. Just tap and hold on the message you sent within the chat window, and then tap the Message Info button (it’s the circle with an “i” inside it. This will tell you when the message was delivered and when it was read.

1) Format your WhatsApp Messages to Impress your Friends

WhatsApp text formatting is an easy way to highlight important information in your message or just to impress your friends. Here are the formatting shortcuts for WhatsApp:

-Bold: *Type your bold text in here between the asterisks*

-Italics: _Italicize this font_

-Strike Through: ~Put tildes around your text to strike through~

-Bold & Italics: *_Bold and italicize your font by putting it between asterisks and underline symbols_*

That last feature, the font formatting, is actually part of a new WhatsApp update and not everybody has it yet. So don’t be alarmed if one of your contacts suddenly starts to surround their messages with weird symbols – they’re just trying to impress you.

Do you have any other WhatsApp power user tips to share? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll add the best ones to our list!

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