WhatsApp has been on a tear lately, adding exciting feature after exciting feature. Yes, dear Telegram user, your favourite app got these features much earlier but we don’t really care. They are coming to the people’s app and we’re excited.
We’ve seen fancy new features like the ability to send images and videos in their original quality or the ability to share our screens during video calls but this latest feature could be my favourite of all. WhatsApp is making it easier to message unsaved contacts. Halleluyah.
I have a lot of phone numbers saved in my contacts that I only ever texted once. I knew I would only text them that one time when I saved the numbers but WhatsApp made it so I had to save those numbers.
There were workarounds to this but none of those solutions appealed to me. Some involved installing a third-party app and I wasn’t keen on that. The other solution was using WhatsApp’s own click-to-chat API but that’s too complex for an individual just trying to find out if a seller still has an item in stock.
Looks like I don’t have to worry about that anymore. WhatsApp has made it easy to initiate chats with unsaved numbers now.
Messaging unsaved numbers
All you have to do is start a chat by tapping on the floating message bubble on Android or the little pencil-on-paper icon in the top right on iOS. Where it says Search name or number, just type in the number you want to message and WhatsApp will search for that number both in your contacts and outside.
If the number is registered on WhatsApp but not in your contacts, WhatsApp will show you a result clearly labelled ‘Not in your contacts‘ and will give you the option to chat with that number.
Here is an example of what you’ll see. In this one, I was looking to chat with the Zimbabwe Republic Police:
Quite a simple feature and yet it took more than a decade for us to get it. It’s here now and that’s all that matters, I guess.
I think WhatsApp has matured as a messaging app and most of the features we are getting are just refinements. I’m all for it.