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A Guide to WhatsApp: an easy-to-use messaging app

A Guide to WhatsApp

This easy-to-use messaging app works a bit like sending a text, without costing you any money.

WhatsApp has millions of users all around the world, and it’s popular because it’s free, has no ads, and you can do lots of different things on it. As well as messaging, you can send audio messages, and have live audio and video calls.

To sign up, all you need is your smartphone, your phone number, and an Internet connection.

Once you’ve downloaded the app (if you’re unsure how to do this, check out our previous post), open it up on your screen, and begin to follow the instructions to sign up. 

Firstly, you’ll be asked to read WhatsApp’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. It’s important to read this fully before you click Agree and Continue.

You’ll then be asked to provide your phone number. This is how messages will come to you, and how you’ll send them.

Once you’ve typed in your phone number, you’ll have an account. Now, you’ll be able to set up your profile with a name and a picture (if you’d like to!). Now you’re ready to go!

So, how do I use it?


At the top right hand corner of your screen, you’ll see a box with a pencil. This is how to begin a new chat. Once you’ve tapped this, select one of your contacts to open a chat with them. In the white box (your text box), type a message using the keyboard and click the blue arrow pointing right to send it.

Voice Message 

If you’d rather not type a long message, you can send a voice message instead. To the right of the text box, there’s a small microphone icon. Hold it down with your finger as you speak, and it’ll record your voice. To send your message, let go.

Top tip: If you want to delete a text or voice message, press down on it with your finger. There’ll be an option to delete it. However, it’ll still show that you’ve removed something from the chat, and the person you’re messaging may have already seen it.

Send Photos & Videos

To the left of the text box, there is a blue ‘+’ icon. If you tap that, you’ll see a few options. The top one, Camera, opens up your smartphone’s camera – so you can take a photo and send it. If you’d like to send a photo or a video that you’ve already taken, click Photo & Video Library. This will open up your gallery, so that you can send content from there.

Audio & Video Calls

When you’re on a chat, there’ll be two icons at the top right of your screen – a blue phone, and a blue video camera. 

Tap the phone to begin an audio call. This is just like talking on the phone!

If you tap the blue video camera, this will open up a video call instead. This means that you, and the person that you’re calling, will be able to see each other on the screen.

Video Call Functions

Camera icon with arrows: This swaps your front camera (the one that shows you on the screen) to your back camera (the one that faces away from you). This can be helpful if you want to show the person you’re calling something, e.g. your new living room paint, or the garden.

Camera icon with a line through: This turns your camera off, so that the other person can’t see you. You’ll still be able to see them.

Microphone icon with a line through: This mutes your microphone, so that the person you’re calling can’t hear you. You can still hear them.

Large red phone icon: This ends the video call.

Now you should be all set to use WhatsApp. As always, if you have any questions, get in touch with us at TheTechTeam – and one of our brilliant Digital Champions will give you a hand!

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