Texting isn’t cheap (especially international texting), but WhatsApp makes it so much cheaper. You can cut the cord on your carrier’s SMS plan with WhatsApp Messenger which is free for one year with an annual 99 cents subscription.

The service’s biggest asset is its user base, which is somewhere north of 900 million people and is now bigger than the entire global SMS system with a trillion messages sent daily.

WhatsApp vs SMS

Feature-wise, WhatsApp puts a few subtle twists on traditional messaging. For instance, you can share your location on Google Maps or attach an image, 89-seconds of video, an audio clip (limited by the device’s storage), or a contact’s info to a message.

This year WhatsApp has also added free voice calling which makes it a great alternative to Skype, Google Hangouts and even direct mobile phone calling. See ‘How do I use WhatsApp calling?’

WhatsApp runs smoothly on 3G or Wi-Fi, and supports Android, iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, and smartphones. Like Apple iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp also notifies you when a message has been received on the other side.

Setting Up WhatsApp

Every WhatsApp Messenger account is tied to a single phone number. When you launch the app for the first time, WhatsApp automatically scans existing phone numbers in your address book and extracts those using WhatsApp, so you can begin messaging those people right away.

You might be surprised by how many of your contacts already use WhatsApp!

Group Messaging

WhatsApp takes an interesting approach to group messaging. The Group Chat feature lets you chat with up to 100 people at once. It is a great way to stay in touch with your family, friends and discussion/purchasing group colleagues. In addition to the maximum number of people you can add to a group, there are a few more things to keep in mind about Group Chat:

  • You may create an unlimited number of groups.
  • Every group has one or more admins. Only admins can add or remove participants.
  • Only admins can make other participants admins.
  • If the last admin leaves the group, a new admin will be randomly assigned.
  • You can always control your own participation in a Group Chat by staying in or leaving the group when you wish. Remember that only group admins have the ability to add participants. If you have any questions about being added to a group, or prefer not to be added, please speak to a group admin.
  • If you have blocked a contact, you will still receive messages this contact sends into any group you have in common. Likewise, they will still receive messages you send to those groups.

Participants can easily unsubscribe, so no one will be spammed with messages.

The Farmers Journal have started a WhatsApp service which brings breaking news alerts, allows you to share your own updates and feedback privately through the service. Details here.

iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/whatsapp-messenger/id310633997?mt=8

Android Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp&hl=en

Windows Phone Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/whatsapp/9wzdncrdfwbs

Categories Android iOS Lifestyle Messaging Windows Phone

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