Sometimes, you need to send a text message to several of your contacts at once.
How do you do it? You can painstakingly go through your contacts list and send the message to each of the recipients, racking up a huge bill in the process. Or you can just use WhatsApp. Besides sending just plain text, WhatsApp also supports attaching images, audio, or video clips to an SMS. Though it lacks the sophistication of other instant messaging apps and clients, WhatsApp is quite good at what it does.
Instead of trying to outsmart its competitors, WhatsApp picks one thing and does it better than anyone else: bulk text messaging. Its massive user base is proof that this approach works. The way group chats function is like this: A message can be sent to up to 10 participants with a common title, and then they can all participate in the discussion or unsubscribe. It’s a very simple but effective approach. It’s also possible to “broadcast” messages, where none of the recipients know who else received the same message. Functionally, this is similar to how a “blind carbon copy” function works in emails.
The Most Popular Messaging App
Even though WhatsApp is free to download, install and use, after the first year you’re required to pay 99 cents a year, regardless of which platform you’re using it on. Once the app is installed, it gives you the option to automatically send out generic invites to each of your contacts. Overall, WhatsApp doesn’t have the same ease of adding contacts the other messaging apps do, so if you run into problems at this step, have patience.
One thing that separates WhatApp from the rest of the messaging crowd is its ability to attach your current location or a map to your message. However, it’s quite difficult to achieve anything with WhatsApp if none of your contacts use it. Sending automated invitations for your friends to join WhatsApp can then leave you feeling guilty. And there is still no simple way to make WhatsApp use your friend list from Facebook.
Careful about Your Privacy? WhatsApp Is Too
What many people are worried about nowadays, with the popularity of and ease of access to the Internet, is the invasion of their privacy. This is a very real concern. Many people have become victims of fraudulent activities and online crimes because they were not careful enough in securing the safety of personal information.
But whether you are really lax when it comes to the privacy settings of the apps that you download and use or not, it is always a lot better to have app developers who care about that.
WhatsApp creators have added the feature “Last Seen”. It enables users’ contacts and friends to know when you were last active on WhatsApp and what things you did, what messages you viewed, and so on. While this is not as serious as being able to view sensitive personal information such as credit card info, many people got disturbed by this.
Thankfully, WhatsApp modified the feature and tightened their privacy settings, now allowing users to either turn the “Seen” feature off entirely, making it available to only a selected group of people, or just leaving it on. Now, users have a choice when it comes to how they want to handle their privacy options.
Not Flexible Enough?
No matter how many advantages WhatsApp has, its list of disadvantages will always seem to be longer. It doesn’t have a PC or tablet component, which means that you can’t communicate with the users of either of those types of devices from your mobile phone. WhatsApp is also not compatible with certain other instant messaging program, making it an even more rigid application.
It’s quite difficult to recommend WhatsApp over Skype or Viber to a sophisticated user – everything it tries to do has already been done better by another app and it also lacks a lot of advanced functions. Further, it can be quite a hassle to have to “recruit” your friends to WhatsApp if none of them are using it already. On the other hand, if all or most of your friends living in another country already have WhatsApp installed on their mobile phones, then you should definitely give it a try.