Getting ready to use WhatsApp


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Getting ready to use WhatsApp

A couple using WhatsApp on their devices to catch up

What's coming up

In this activity, we're going to get an overview of the WhatsApp video calling application, including what it is, what it can do and how it works.

If you've been through the Using Skype course, you should have an idea of what to expect, as Skype and WhatsApp are very similar.

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A close up of a device showin the WhatsApp icon

What is WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a program that's very similar to Skype. It's a video and voice chatting application that lets you talk, for free, with anyone over the internet.

Where Skype is most popular on computers, WhatsApp tends to be more popular on mobile phones. However, both programs are available for computers, tablets and mobiles.

To start using WhatsApp, you need to download it to your device and then create an account. You can download WhatsApp from the website Ask a friend, library worker or family member to help you if you don't feel confident to do this yourself.

How it works

WhatsApp lets you make a list of contacts. You can call anybody on your list as long as they also have WhatsApp.

Using WhatsApp is just like making a phone call. You select the name of the person you want to call, and then tap or click on the video call button to start a call.

When a call starts, you can see their face in full screen. You can also see a small video window that shows your face, so you can see what you look like to the other person.

Shows a sample WhatsApp call on a smartphone where you see the person you are calling fill up most of the screen, and your face is seen in a small window at the bottom
A smartphone with the WhatsApp logo on it

How much will it cost?

WhatsApp video calls are completely free. You can talk for as long as you like without paying a cent.

Making a WhatsApp video call from your smartphone, however, may use some of the data allowed under your mobile phone plan and incur charges. To avoid this, you should use a Wi-Fi internet connection for any video calls.

What do you need?

If you want to video call a friend using WhatsApp, what do they need to have?

A smartphone

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Not quite right.

While a smartphone is a start, your friend will need a little more.

A computer, phone or tablet with WhatsApp installed

Click to flip

That's right.

The person you call can use any device, as long as it has WhatsApp.

Downloading WhatsApp

Let’s have a go at helping Marion to download WhatsApp.

The next slide includes some steps to try yourself. Select the Continue button below to begin and then follow the instructions on the right hand side of the screen.

Downloading WhatsApp

Downloading WhatsApp

This is an interactive activity that allows learners to practise downloading WhatsApp. This activity has no sound track and is made up of a number of images and text instructions with opportunities for the user to enter text or click on links as part of the exercise.

This is to encourage confidence using the internet by practising a simple exercise in a simulated environment.

If a mistake is made during this exercise, there will be a prompt to ask you to try it again. If another mistake is made, the video will show you how to complete that section of the exercise.

A couple greeting their family back home over a video chat


Well done, you've come to the end of the Getting ready to use WhatsApp activity.

In this topic you've learnt about how WhatsApp works and how much calls cost.

In the next activity, we'll look at creating your WhatsApp contact list.