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How Does WhatsApp Work?

Posted by Arch on November 19, 2018

In January 2018, the number of WhatsApp users reached 1.5 billion, which makes this one of the most popular apps in the world. WhatsApp has made a huge difference in the way we communicate.

But what exactly does this app do? How does it protect your privacy and what makes it so well-loved?

What Is WhatsApp?

Let’s start with the basics. You can use WhatsApp to text or call other WhatsApp users. When you have WhatsApp, you can send any number of messages for free. There’s also no time limit on your voice conversations.

This app is free to install and fits many different needs. You can easily share documents via WhatsApp, and there’s a built-in camera for quick photo and video sharing. It also allows for in-line Facebook and Instagram video sharing.

Customizable group chats are among the app’s upsides. WhatsApp allows group conversations with up to 256 people per group.

It’s obvious why WhatsApp is replacing phone messaging and traditional calls. As long as you have internet access, you can call and text people without getting charged for it. The only limitation is that the other person needs to have WhatsApp installed as well.

How Do You Set It Up on Your Phone?

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to using WhatsApp on your smartphone.

1. Download the App

You can download WhatsApp from the Play Store or from iTunes. In the early days, WhatsApp came with a small annual subscription fee, but the app is now free to install and use.

2. Agree to the Terms of Service

Here are some of the most important things about using this app.

WhatsApp Has Been a Part of Facebook Since 2014

However, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to connect it to your Facebook account. Since WhatsApp has been used to harvest data for Facebook ads in the past, it might be a better idea to keep them separate. But even if you do connect them, your messages and photos will never get shared on Facebook without your permission.

This App Uses End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp has a concern for their users’ privacy. Hence, they use end-to-end encryption on your calls and messages.

Everything gets encrypted on your end and then decrypted when your message reaches the recipient. Third parties can’t read your messages or listen to your conversations. The company doesn’t have access to your conversations either. WhatsApp doesn’t store your messages, so there’s no way to bring them back if you delete them.

WhatsApp Doesn’t Feature Third-Party Banner Ads

There’s no invasive advertising when you use this app.

3. Give the App Access to Your Contacts and Other Data

Now you can allow WhatsApp access to your contacts. The app will check which people in your contacts have WhatsApp installed. After that, communicating with them will be simple.

This is also where you give the app access to your photos and videos. Many people use WhatsApp to share their special moments with a loved one. Even if you have a slow internet connection, WhatsApp is great for video and photo sharing.

If you prefer, you can skip this step for now.

4. Verify Your Phone Number

WhatsApp sends an SMS to make sure you entered your real number.

Simply enter the 6-digit code you received via text.

5. Create a Profile

Enter your name so you can start using the app.

You Can Also Use It on Your Desktop

WhatsApp is convenient to use for a number of reasons. Among other things, you can send texts and make calls from your computer, but you have to install it on your smartphone first.

The first steps of the installation process are simple. You simply download a .zip file from WhatsApp’s website, and then you run WhatsApp.exe (on PC) or WhatsApp.app (on a Mac).

After this, it is necessary to scan the QR code from your phone.

If you’re an Android user, take the following steps:

1. Open the Chats Tab

2. Select the Menu Button

Tap on the three dots icon in the top-right corner of your screen.

3. Select WhatsApp Web

The app needs access to your camera to scan the QR code. Once you’ve done that, you can log in from your computer at any time.

Mac users should follow these steps instead: Settings > WhatsApp Web.

A Final Word

Even if you don’t plan to use it often, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with WhatsApp.

This app can make it far easier to join group discussions on your own terms. This makes it particularly popular among teenagers. The app is also widely used by people who travel often. If you can find a wifi connection, you won’t have to worry about roaming fees.

WhatsApp is becoming important in professional contexts, too. If you expect to use it for your workplace conversations, consider installing WhatsApp Business. This app is free as well, and it’s customized to fit your needs as a professional.

However, the app can’t replace traditional messaging entirely. For example, you can’t use it to contact emergency services. The other downside is that you don’t always have wifi access, and using your data plan for WhatsApp can be very expensive.

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