How To Use WhatsApp: A Useful Beginner’s Guide

How To Use WhatsApp: A Step-By-Step Beginner's Guide

Because WhatsApp is a powerhouse that has become some sort of a must-have in people’s phones, the question of how to use WhatsApp is essential among beginners. 

This step-by-step guide will help you to understand how to get started with WhatsApp, from finding it in your phone’s application store, installing it, and finally starting to use it.  

If you are a beginner and want to know how to use whatsapp, then this guide is all you need to know everything there is to know about how to use WhatsApp.  

Let’s get started! 

How Did WhatsApp Start?

The story of WhatsApp is an amazing one. An application that started out just like any other ordinary app went on to top the world of message chatting. Perhaps the most interesting bit about WhatsApp is that it came at a time when many thought the world of messaging was already conquered. But not for the creators of WhatsApp led by Jan Koum who went on to become so rich after selling WhatsApp to Facebook which currently owns the app. For them, there was still more that could be done, and more they did. In fact, they must have surprised themselves and marveled at how their creation took the world by storm. 

Of course, as they say, the rest is now history. What we now have is a gigantic ‘chat house’ in the name of WhatsApp. It currently boasts about 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, outranking iconic pioneers like WeChat and Facebook. 

Step 1: Getting Started 

Like any other app on your phone, you need to do a few things to get it up and running, and this is the case with WhatsApp.

Download WhatsApp

The first step is to download the app from your phone’s application store whose icon you will see on your home screen. Follow these steps to download. 

  1. Launch your phone’s applications store. For iPhone, the store is called the App Store. For Android phones, it’s called Play Store. 
  2. Tap the search button
  3. Type Whatsapp in the search box
  4. You will see the green Whatsapp Icon, tap on it to start downloading 

Step 2 On How To Use Whatsapp: Setting Up

Once downloading is complete, the next step is set up. Follow thee steps: 

  1. Go to your phone’s applications and look out for the already downloaded and installed WhatsApp.
  2. Tap on it to open
  3. Once open, it will ask you to input your details like full names, username, email, and phone number. Fill in all the details and accept the Terms of Service. 
  4. As a final step of setup, you will be required to verify your phone number. A message will be sent to your phone with a code that you will be required to enter in order to complete the setup process. 
  5. Once you enter the code, WhatsApp will complete the setup process. At this point, you will be taken to the Whatsapp area. Here you will see all of your contacts who are already on WhatsApp and you can in fact start chatting with them immediately.

Step 3: Customizing Settings

By this stage, you are fully done with the setup and you can actually proceed to use WhatsApp; chat with your contacts, send texts, make voice or video calls. But there are more things you can customize to polish up your Whatsapp experience and make it comfortable for yourself especially on matters of privacy and all. To do this, you need to go to settings and get some stuff customized to your liking.

To customize your WhatsApp settings, tap on the three dots on the far right corner that you can see on your WhatsApp home screen or basically chat area. A drop-down menu will show up with the following options: 

  • New Group
  • New Broadcast
  • Linked Devices
  • Starred Messages
  • Settings 

What is found under Whatsapp settings?

Tap on settings. Under Settings, you will see the following options:

  • An image icon
  • Account
  • Chats
  • Notifications
  • Storage and data
  • Help
  • Invite a friend

How to customize

Tap on each option above to customize it to your liking and convenience. For example, you can add your profile photo through the image icon. You can also write a few words in the About section to describe yourself or just choose to leave it blank. 

This is where you can also change your name if you want. The image and name might be automatically visible to your contacts or indeed anyone who can check your profile. But you can change all these via the privacy option.  

Step 4: Getting Around WhatsApp Features

WhatsApp has so many features that it might not be possible to cover them in a single post. However, this selection in the next section will give you a good induction and provide you with sufficient familiarity to proceed. 

How To Use Whatsapp Chat messaging, Call, Video, and Conference Features

WhatsApp chat, voice call, video call, and conferencing are perhaps the most popular features that make WhatsApp a darling of billions of users around the world. 

To use these features, you simply go to the home screen; that is where everything is laid out and so easy to use. You will have these sections, starting from the left corner: CHAT, STATUS, CALLS. 

If you tap on the chat icon, you will see your chat history with your contacts. To start a chat, tap on any contact to open the chat box or chat window and start typing to get chatting. One thing you will most likely admire about Whatsapp is the simple layout of the chat screen, which makes it so easy to use, and this is one of the key reasons why WhatsApp is the most popular chat app.  

How to make a WhatsApp video call

To start a video chat, tap on the CALLS tap, choose a contact. You will notice that when you tap on a contact, you get two options of either Video call or Voice call. Choose the appropriate one to start video chat or voice chat.  

Whatsapp maintains a chat backup of your chats so no need to worry in case something happens to your phone and you have to reinstall WhatsApp again.  

Are there charges for calls?

The best part of WhatsApp calls and messaging is that there are no charges applied, all you need is data or internet connection and you are good to go. This means you can make even international calls including video calls without incurring the usual astronomical long-distance call charges that apply to normal phone calls. Just tap on the buttons for calls and get started. Whether you want to make a 4-minute video call or a 10-minute video call, WhatsApp got you covered! 

How to use Whatsapp sharing features

WhatsApp has one of the most powerful sharing features. This is a popular feature that you can use to share any file including images, videos, documents, and even location details.  

Go to your phone’s gallery, identify the file you want to share, tap on the body of the file. Once you tap on the body of the file you want to share, three buttons emerge at the very bottom of that file. These options are Share, Edit, Delete. Select Share. Once you select on share, you will see various options for sharing, and WhatsApp is one of them. Choose WhatsApp. It takes you to your contacts list on WhatsApp where you can now choose the contact you want to share the file with.  

If you are sharing images, especially those downloaded from the internet, please be sure the file has no restricting image credit terms that might otherwise lead you to commit copyright infringements. You never know where the image will end up. Your phone has features that you can use to create high-quality images depending on the purpose.  

How to use Whatsapp to share location

To share current location details, select the contact with whom you want to share your location. Then tap on the attach icon on the near-far bottom right corner. This will bring up a number of options of what you can attach including Documents, Audio files, Location, Gallery, Camera, or Contact. Select location and share. Please note that you must give location access to Whatsapp for you to be able to share a location. Equally important to note is that the handy feature of location-sharing is literally the device location, i.e. the current location where that phone is at the moment. 

Other extra features include the download feature, the backup feature, and the export chat feature. 

Step 5: Managing Whatsapp Contacts

WhatsApp gives you the power to be in charge of your chat space. You have full control over how to engage with your contacts depending on your desires, likes, and dislikes. To this end, there are several features you can use to dictate the direction you want your engagements to take.  

You can use the block feature to block any individual contact in the entire contact list. A blocked person cannot see anything about you, and you will equally not be able to see anything about them including their profile picture and online status.  

You can also report contact from the contact list if you believe they are abusing the platform or are doing something illegal. WhatsApp will get a hold of their contact details and monitor their behaviors over time. 

How to block a contact in WhatsApp

To block a contact, select the person you want to block as if you want to chat with them, tap on the three dots on the far right top corner, then tap on the block button. Before the block contact action is executed, WhatsApp will alert you that the contact will not message or call you anymore and provide a link for more information. You can always come back and unblock by following the same steps.  

You will also be asked to select a reason for blocking from a list that includes ‘No longer needed’, ‘Dint sign up’, ‘Spam’, ‘Offensive messages’, ‘Other’. Choose the option that best applies to your case. 

Conclusion

Again, WhatsApp is currently the most popular chat app in the world, ahead of the most popular apps overall such as Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat. If you have a smartphone, any smartphone, you can go to WhatsApp right now and start chatting with any individual contact from your phone contact list as long as they are also in Whatsapp.  

Did you enjoy this beginner’s guide on how to use WhatsApp?  Please share any tricks or quick shortcuts you might have discovered about Whatsapp in the comments section. If you are a beginner, then this useful guide should be sufficient to get you started and become a pro in using WhatsApp. 

Feel free to share this guide on social media for the benefit of your friends and followers, some of whom might be looking for such helpful resources on how to use Whatsapp.