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Instant messengers have replaced the good old days where SMS was the order of the day.

While SMS offered very little in terms of privacy, IMs came in and made this a very hot matter.

Google Talk came in and made it easier for all users to hide their presence, when online, by simply setting their status to “Invisible”. However, GTalk is no longer the app of the moment as the world has shifted its attention to WhatsApp as the main platform for exchanging messages. The Facebook-owned messaging app now homes over 900 million users from all over the world, a figure that is currently somewhere close to 1 billion, given that the previous figure was released more than four months ago.

WhatsApp Tricks

The app has somehow made it difficult to go invisible like with the case of GTalk, but with the developers’ realization of the need for privacy among the users, they have hidden quite a number of interesting features that can help you solve this mystery. With these features, you will no longer be disturbed by unnecessary notifications when you are onto something else, without the need of turning off data or Wi-Fi connection, a move that would undermine other functions of your phone.

Here’re 5 hidden WhatsApp tricks you can use to make yourself invisible to your friends on the most popular instant messaging app.

Hide Last Seen status

WhatsApp comes with the Last Seen feature where one can tell the last time you visited the platform. With this feature turned off, you will not be forced into replying to messages you’ve read since the sender will not be able to see your last seen status.

This feature can be turned off by going to the app’s settings and then hit Account. Next tap on the Privacy tab and from here, you can change your status to Nobody. In this way, you will stay invisible, but you won’t also be able to see the Last Seen status of your friends.

Hide profile photo

If you are afraid of stalkers, hiding your profile photo is the best step you can take towards ensuring WhatsApp privacy. This you can do by heading to the app’s Privacy Settings and while in there, tap on Profile photo to enable the Nobody option.

Hide status

WhatsApp allows its users to post their status such that friends can also see what one is up to. This is something you can also hide such that no one knows exactly what you are up to. This option is also available under the same Privacy Settings under the “Status” section.

Disable blue ticks

WhatsApp introduced blue ticks towards the end of 2014. This feature lets the users know when a friend at the other end reads a message. You can disable this such that your friend doesn’t feel ignored just in case you open a message that you don’t intend to reply to immediately.

To disable them, go to the same Privacy Settings and while in there, uncheck the “Read receipts” option and that’s it. Remember, just like the Last Seen feature, you will not be able to see the read receipts of your friends either.

Stop or snooze WhatsApp

If the above tricks aren’t enough for you, there is still for room for a final one. However, this feature only applies to the Android users. Even though the app doesn’t support pausing or snoozing from within, it can be handled via the device’s settings.

Go to Settings and tap on Apps or Application Manager and while in there, find WhatsApp and tap on it. From the window that opens, tap on “Force Stop” and WhatsApp will stop working for as long as you want. To resume normal usage, just tap on the main icon to launch the app and that’s it. You will be up and running again.

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