WhatsApp Review

We’ve given you a bit of an introduction to WhatsApp, and told you all about the potential safety concerns, and how much WhatsApp costs to use, but what’s really the deal with the phone-based multi-mode communication tool? We’ve compiled a list of things that we liked and didn’t like about WhatsApp, for your reviewing pleasure.

Pros

Cross-platform – Though most of our tutorials for WhatsApp are made using a phone that runs the Android operating system, WhatsApp also works on iPhones, Windows Phones, BlackBerry devices, and many other types of modern smart phones.

Adding contacts is secure and easy – WhatsApp will automatically detect people in your phone’s address book who use the app, so you don’t have to manually add them as contacts. Plus, you can privately send and accept contact invitations to and from people in your address book, or whom you know from elsewhere. You only connect with the people who matter to you.

Multiple modes of communication – You are given lots of different ways to connect with friends and family.  You can write text messages, record audio or video messages, take and send pictures, or upload a file from your phone.

Get together with groups – WhatsApp allows you to create custom groups of up to 100 people, so you can send and receive messages with several of your contacts at once.

Safeguard your chat sessions – You can back up your conversations to your phone’s internal memory storage, or to Google Drive. That way, if you accidentally delete your messages or otherwise lose them, just re-install WhatsApp, and you’ll get all of your messages back!

An affordable alternative for some of your phone’s functions – WhatsApp allows you to make phone calls and exchange text messages with the people you care about, without having to buy extra texting plans or phone minutes. Plus, it will never show you advertisements!

Cons

Made for mobile – WhatsApp really only works on mobile smart phones. It can work on desktop computers, but you pretty much need to have it working on your phone for the computer version to work.

Communication is a two-way street – Though WhatsApp works across many different types of smart phones, it only works if both you and the person or people whom you’re trying to contact are using WhatsApp, too.

Share with care – As with most communication and social tools, once you send a message over WhatsApp, you’re largely not in control of how long the other person keeps it or who they can share it with. Think carefully about what you send, including who might be able to see it.

Groups gum up privacy a bit – You can block contacts who are annoying or harassing you, but if you are both part of the same group, you will still see messages that they send to that group, and they will see your messages to that group. If you want to totally avoid the person, you will need to leave the group.

The bottom line: 8/10

WhatsApp is a free way to extend some of the capabilities of your phone without tacking on extra phone-related charges. It works on many modern smart phones, and allows you to communicate with your contacts in pretty much whatever way you want. Contacts are added based on your address book or private invitations, so you only talk to who you want to talk to on WhatsApp. Plus, you can form groups to chat with several of your contacts at once, and back up your conversations so that you’ll never totally lose the important things that you talk with your contacts about on WhatsApp.

There are things to keep in mind when using WhatsApp, though. It more or less only works on smart phones (as opposed to desktop computers), and the people you’re trying to contact with it have to be using WhatsApp as well for you to get anywhere. And, as with many modern social tools, you have to think carefully about the kind of messages that you send, and who else might be able to see them. This is especially true with groups, where even people whom you’ve blocked can see what messages you’ve sent (and can send messages that you can see, too).

 

We have a couple more informational articles about WhatsApp ahead, if you’d like some more general things to keep in mind while you’re using it. If you’d like to get started right away, though, skip on over to our tutorial on how to download and install WhatsApp! Check out the rest of our free course to learn more about the service and how to use WhatsApp!


Is WhatsApp Free and How Much Can It Cost to Use?

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about what WhatsApp is, and have read our 5 tips for staying safe while using WhatsApp, you may be curious about how much it can cost, or how the company makes money. In this article, we’ll go over all of that information with you, to help you decide if WhatsApp is worth it for you.

Is WhatsApp free?

Yes, WhatsApp is currently free to download and use. WhatsApp previously cost 99₵ per year after the first year of service. It was also possible to buy a 3-year subscription at $2.69 U.S. (a 10% discount) or a 5-year subscription at $3.75 U.S. (a 25% discount). But now, it’s available completely free!

However, there is a way that WhatsApp can cost you money, if you use the Internet data connection on your device rather than your Wi-Fi.

How much data does WhatsApp use?

WhatsApp doesn’t use a lot of data, especially if you use it mainly for text messages. Sending images, audio, and videos through WhatsApp will use significantly more data, however, in our experience, a year’s worth of sent and received text messages on WhatsApp will only use approximately 1GB of data.

In contrast, making a video call using WhatsApp can use about 12MB for a 4-minute call. If you want to make sure you don’t break the bank using WhatsApp, be sure you make video calls using a Wi-Fi connection, rather than your mobile data connection, whenever possible.

How does WhatsApp make money?

WhatsApp used to make money by charging subscription fees to use the service. They have recently stopped this, but have hinted that they may move to a “freemium” model where paying a subscription fee unlocks advanced features. Investors are WhatsApp’s other major income source. WhatsApp does not sell advertisements.

To read WhatsApp’s full statement on why they don’t use advertisements, click here.

 

That’s a bit of information about what WhatsApp costs and how it makes money! To learn more about the ins and outs of WhatsApp and how to use it, check out the rest of our free WhatsApp course. And make sure you download WhatsApp from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store if you think it’s for you! We’ll show you how to do everything from how to sign up for WhatsApp to how to back up your WhatsApp messages, and more!


Is Whatsapp Safe and Secure? + 5 Safety Tips

Now that we’ve gone over what WhatsApp is and how to start messaging with it, you may still be curious about how safe WhatsApp really is. We understand that most people will want to ensure their own safety before downloading and using an app that’s new to them, so we want to give you the reassurance you’re looking for. In this article, we’ll be covering how safe and secure the app is, and we’ll give you some tips on how to stay safe when using it.

Is WhatsApp safe?

WhatsApp is as safe as other communication apps of its kind, and a bit safer than most social networks. It doesn’t ask for (or store) much personal information beyond your user name, profile picture, and phone number. It also only uses contacts whom you already know or have approved.

WhatsApp also forbids behaviour or content that is illegal, obscene, threatening, intentionally offensive, or simply meant to harass other users. That’s not to say, however, that these kinds of things don’t make it onto WhatsApp in rare circumstances.

How secure is Whatsapp?

Yes, WhatsApp is secure, as it encrypts content sent between users’ phones, and does not store any information about you or your contacts besides your phone numbers However, WhatsApp has no password locks for accounts, so be careful whom you allow to use your phone. 

With all of the above information in mind, here are a few tips for using WhatsApp safely.

Top 5 WhatsApp safety tips

1. Control who can see information about you.

Through your privacy settings on WhatsApp, you can control who can see each of three pieces of information about you: your profile picture, your personal status message, and when you last used the app (if you’re offline). If you choose “Everyone,” all users can see that piece of information. If you choose “My Contacts,” only people whom you have added as contacts can see that information. Choosing “Nobody” prevents anyone from seeing that information, whether they are your contacts or not. Note, however, that you cannot choose to appear offline if you are currently online with WhatsApp.

In addition, WhatsApp has a function called “read receipts” that sends you a notification when someone reads a message that you sent them and vice-versa. You can turn this on or off as you choose, though it only applies to personal conversations and not group chats.

See our privacy and account settings article to learn how to adjust these settings.

2. If you don’t want to interact with someone, block them.

If a user on WhatsApp is bothering you, then you can block them. When you block a user, they will not be able to see any changes to your profile picture, personal status message, or online status (including when you last used WhatsApp). They will also be unable to call or message you, and vice-versa.

To learn how to block or unblock a user, see our tutorial on how to use WhatsApp, and read the heading “How to Block a WhatsApp Contact.”

3. Be careful what you choose to send through WhatsApp.                                          

Something you should always remember when using a social network or any other sort of communication tool is to be careful about what you share with other people. The reason for this is that once you do share content with others, you are often no longer in control of it. This holds true for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp itself does not store any content that you share over it. However, the people whom you send that content to can store it, and even share it with their contacts. So before you send a text message, picture, video, audio message, or current location indicator to someone, ask yourself if you would be okay with potentially letting other people whom that person knows see it.

4. If you see something problematic on WhatsApp, report it.

If you see something or someone breaking the rules, you can report the offending content or person. Just go into your settings, tap Help, and then tap Contact Us. You can then explain what the problem is, and add screenshots as evidence of your issue.

5. If an extreme situation arises, contact the local authorities.

Though it’s certainly very rare, it may happen that you run into a situation on WhatsApp where someone repeatedly issues credible threats to harm you, themselves, or someone else. If you ever feel that you or someone else is in immediate danger, call the local police, emergency services, suicide prevention hotline, or whatever authorities are best equipped to handle the situation at hand.

 

That’s some need-to-know information about safety and security on WhatsApp! To learn more about the app, like the pros and cons, how much it costs to use, and of course, how to use the app, check out the rest of our free WhatsApp course!


What WhatsApp Is and How Its Messaging Works

Instant messaging is probably the most popular way for people to communicate nowadays. Lots of people prefer the convenience of online instant messaging over e-mails or phone calls, especially if it’s just to say a few words. You’ve probably used different online messaging tools before, but if you haven’t, you should definitely give it a try!

In this article, we’ll tell you about an instant messaging application that you can use on your mobile phone. It’s called WhatsApp. WhatsApp has a lot of cool features, so we want to let you in on how great it is! Now, let’s talk about what exactly it is, how it works, and go over some of the app’s features.

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a multi-functional communication app for your mobile phone. As long as you and other people you know have the app, 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?

WhatsApp uses the Internet data connection through your phone to allow you to send messages to your family and friends. If you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, it won’t use up your data plan. You can use the app to send text, picture, and audio messages, and make calls, all for free! How great is that?

WhatsApp chat screen

If you think this sounds like a great messaging app, be sure to download it for your Android device, or your Apple device.

5 great features of WhatsApp

1. Connect with contacts on WhatsApp without the time and hassle of adding each person individually.

WhatsApp automatically detects people in your phone’s address book who are already using the app, 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 it.

Add WhatsApp contacts

2. Multiple options for methods of communication.

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!

Send messages on WhatsApp

3. Be part of a team with WhatsApp 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 and need to collaborate.

Start a WhatsApp group chat

4. Simple options to search through your messages.

Looking for a contact or an important message that you sent or received? The app 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!

Search through WhatsApp for messages and contacts

5. Easily back up your messages to your device or Google Drive.

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 the app, and all of your messages will be waiting for you!

Back up WhatsApp messages

Is WhatsApp safe?

Yes, WhatsApp is safe to use. It won’t store your personal information, and only people you’ve approved as contacts will be able to message you. This makes it safer than most social networking sites. If someone is bothering you, you can block them. If you see someone breaking the rules, you can report them. To learn more about the safety of WhatsApp, check out our article on WhatsApp safety and security.

How much does WhatsApp cost?

Yes, WhatsApp is free to use. Previously, the app cost 99 cents per year, but since then, the service has become free to use. Instead, they now offer the app to download and use for free, but this only allows users access to all of the basic features. To get more features, users can pay subscription fees. Learn more about the potential costs associated with WhatsApp by checking out this article, which also explains how the company makes money.

Pros and Cons of WhatsApp

Some great things about WhatsApp are that it’s free to use, it’s available on multiple devices, and that it gives you many options and ways to communicate with your contacts. It helps you save money by giving you a way to communicate with people for free rather than needing to add additional texting plans or minutes for phone calls to your mobile plan.

On the negative side, WhatsApp is designed for mobile devices, so while it’s accessible on a computer, it doesn’t work as well as it does on smart phones or tablets. Also, group messages can kind of cancel out privacy settings – even if you have someone blocked on WhatsApp, they could still be part of a group message that you’re included in.

WhatsApp alternatives

If WhatsApp doesn’t sound like it’s quite right for you, don’t worry. There are some other messaging apps that you can try out instead. One of WhatsApp’s biggest competitors is an app called Kik, which is also free to use. Another messaging app with tons of cool features is WeChat. If you’re looking for an app to use primarily for voice and video calls, Google Hangouts is also great option.

You can learn more about all of these apps and websites if you read our WhatsApp alternatives article here.

 

Those are just a few of the neat things that WhatsApp can do! Check out the rest of our free WhatsApp course to learn more, like how to sign up for an account, and how to use the messaging app!