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Tech tips

12 smart tricks for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Google Chat

It’s been a long time since AOL instant messenger was the pinnacle of digital communication. Since then, we’ve expanded to dozens of platforms for communication, and it goes way beyond a simple text message.

As new competitors arise daily, messenger platforms try to keep up the competition with fun new features that give your messages a little extra pizazz. Tap or click here for five Facebook Messenger things you didn’t know you could do.

If you want to give your messages a little bit of extra flair but aren’t quite sure how to do it from platform to platform, we’ve got you covered. Here are all the best instant messenger hacks from your favorite platforms.

WhatsApp

Depending on which site you reference, WhatsApp is the number one messaging app in the world. Here are some important features to look forward to:

  • Replying to a specific message – If you want to quote or reference a specific message, you can do so easily. Just hold down on the message you want to quote and hit reply when the option pops up.
  • Searching for old chats – If you are looking for specific conversations you might have to scroll through comments to find exactly what you are looking for. Save yourself some time by using the search feature. Use the search bar to easily find what you are looking for.
  • Hide Activity – Thankfully you can hide your chat acitivity if you so choose. On iOS, swipe right to left and click archive. On Android, hold down on the chat, then choose archive.

Facebook Messenger

Since Facebook is used to keep track of friends and family, it makes sense we use its Messenger feature to keep in touch. Here are a few nifty tricks to help you the next time you use it:

  • Encrypted conversations – Even Facebook has its own safety features if you are looking for an extra level of privacy. If you want to keep conversations safe, you can encrypt them. When you start a new conversation, choose the secret conversation option on iOS, or choose the secret icon on Android. If you want to make a current conversation secret, tap on the person’s name and choose go to secret conversation.
  • Unsend Message – We’ve all done it! You send a message by accident and want to take it back. With Facebook Messenger, you can. You have 10 minutes to unsend a message. After that, you are out of luck. To unsend it, hold down on the message and click remove, you’ll then see a pop-up that gives you the option to unsend the message.
  • Send a video message – Video is always better than audio. If you want to send your pretty face to your friends, it’s easy to do on Facebook Messenger. All you need to do is tap the camera icon and hold it down to create a video message.

Apple devices

If you prefer traditional text messages on your iPhone, you won’t need fancy third-party apps. You can still do quite a bit with Apple Messages which is already on your device:

  • Mute group message alerts – If you’re part of a texting group, the constant alerts can get overwhelming. Thankfully, you can silence these group alerts on your iPhone. Open the group chat and tap the group icon at the top. Choose the info button and scroll down to Hide Alerts. Toggle it on and that’s it!
  • Send animated effects – Everything is better when animated. With iOS, you can send animations via text message. Simply hold press on the up button and choose from a variety of effects, like the Slam option.
  • Inline replies – If you want to reply to a specific message, you can do that just as you would in WhatsApp. Find the message you want to reply to and hold down on it, then hit the reply button to answer that specific message.

Google Messages

Google never ceases to amaze us with all the programs and integrations it comes up with. And Google Messages doesn’t disappoint and comes pre-installed.

  • Access Google Assistant in a chat – Google assistant can be handy, but did you know you can access it from inside Google Messages?
    • Inside messages, tap the three dots.
    • Choose Settings.
    • Tap Suggestions in chat.
    • Choose to Turn on Assistant Suggestions, Smart Reply, or Suggested actions.
  • Enable Google Chat within the Messages app – Google Chat is a newer feature, but you can access it easily from within the Messages app. You have two choices to enable it: You can either wait for the prompt to ask you to turn it on or do so manually. Here’s how to turn it on manually in settings.
    • Open Settings.
    • Select Chat Features.
    • Turn Chat Features on.
  • Schedule Texts – What if you want to send a message but are worried the other person may be sleeping or in a meeting? You can pre-schedule texts to send at a certain time.
    • Open the Messages app.
    • Choose a conversation.
    • Type your message.
    • Touch and hold Send.
    • Enter the date and time you want to send your message.
    • Hit Next.
    • Select Send.
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