What is WhatsApp?

Last updated: January 5, 2016 - 2:38pm EST

WhatsApp is a multi-functional communication application for your mobile phone.  As long as you and other people you know have WhatsApp, you can use it to exchange text messages, pictures, videos, audio messages, phone calls, and more... all without having to buy a texting plan or extra phone minutes!

How does WhatsApp work?  5 key features of WhatsApp

1. Connect with contacts without the hassle

WhatsApp automatically detects people in your phone's address book who are using WhatsApp, so you don't have to manually add them as contacts.  However, you can also invite people who don't have WhatsApp yet, as well as people you know who aren't in your address book but who might be using WhatsApp.

Inviting contacts to WhatsApp

2. Communication, any way you want it

WhatsApp has lots of different ways for you to make sure what you're trying to communicate reaches your audience.  Write a text message!  Take a picture!  Record an audio or video message!  Have a phone call!  It's up to you!

Some options for communicating over WhatsApp

3. Be part of a team with group chats

You can create custom groups in WhatsApp and swap comments, updates, and ideas with up to 100 other people at once!  It's great if you have a very close-knit group of friends who use WhatsApp, or are part of a business team.

A WhatsApp group chat

4. Search made simple

Looking for a contact or an important message that you sent or received?  WhatsApp lets you search by keyword, by a group or contact's name, or even by a contact's phone number.  You can also search for keywords inside a particular conversation!

Searching on WhatsApp

5. Back up your banter

WhatsApp allows you to save a copy of your message history to your phone's internal memory storage, or even to Google Drive (if you have a Google account).  If you ever lose important messages -- or WhatsApp itself -- simply re-install WhatsApp, and all of your messages will be waiting for you!

WhatsApp backup options


Those are just a few of the neat things that WhatsApp can do!  We'll list a few more things that WhatsApp is capable (and incapable) of in our next lesson, a review of WhatsApp's pros and cons.  Or, you can explore for yourself at www.whatsapp.com!


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