WhatsApp for iPad, PC, Mac, Android: How to Change Your Number, and Answers to Other Questions

The user base for WhatsApp, the free messaging service, continues growing, meaning more and more people also find themselves having questions about the application.

Check out some answers to the frequently asked questions below, courtesy of the company.


Are my messages secure?

WhatsApp communication between your phone and our server is encrypted.

Even though data sent through our app is encrypted, remember that if your phone or your friend’s phone is being used by someone else, it may be possible for them to read your WhatsApp messages. Please be aware of who has physical access to your phone.

What are WhatsApp’s subscription fees?

We want WhatsApp to be about communication with your friends and family, so we will never bother you with ads. We do have small subscription fees, however. Please note that WhatsApp will never automatically charge you for your subscription.

For all phone types, WhatsApp is free to download and try for the first year. After, you have the option of extending your subscription for $0.99 USD per year.

Subscriptions are cumulative, so if you pay for an additional year of service, it will add to your current subscription or free year-long trial. There is no difference between the free and paid versions of WhatsApp other than the length of service. Note: Deleting and reinstalling WhatsApp does not reset your subscription.

How can I change my WhatsApp phone number?

To use our Change Number feature on the phones listed below, please click on the appropriate article for specific steps: Android | iPhone | BlackBerry | Nokia S40 | Nokia S60 |Windows Phone | BlackBerry 10.

Note: Make sure to use the specific Change Number steps to migrate your account to your new number. If you simply verify a new number with WhatsApp (you might see a prompt to do this when you put a new SIM card in your phone and open WhatsApp) then your old account data will not migrate over to the new account. Please do not swap SIM cards or phones frequently, or you will create problems in the verification process. Read this article for more information.

How do I add a friend?

Your friend’s phone number must be in your phone’s address book in order for you to start a chat with them in WhatsApp.

If you cannot see your friend in WhatsApp, please follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that your friend has WhatsApp installed on their phone.
  2. Double check that your friend’s phone number is entered correctly in your phone’s address book.
    • Enter the number the same as you would if you were to make a phone call to that person.
    • If this is an international phone number, do not use any exit codes or leading 0s.Start all international phone numbers with a + sign, followed by the country code. For specific examples and instructions, see this article.
  3. Open WhatsApp and refresh the Favorites screen. On Android, this screen is titledSelect contact.

Contacts in your phone address book that have WhatsApp will be displayed in the Favorites screen (Select contact screen for Android). In WhatsApp, you can only start a chat with these contacts.

If you still do not see your friend in your WhatsApp list, it is possible that your friend does not have WhatsApp.

What is Voice Messaging?

Voice Messaging is a very powerful way of communicating with your friends and family. We made an effort to build a user experience across all of our platforms that is as similar as possible, but we encourage you also to spend time reading the articles below to better understand how Voice Messaging works on your smartphone.

Learn how to use Voice Messaging on: iPhone | Android | BlackBerry | Nokia | Windows Phone | BlackBerry 10

See a previous Associated Press update below.

Whatsapp Will Add Voice Messaging Service

BARCELONA, Spain—WhatsApp, the popular messaging service for smartphones that’s being acquired by Facebook, will soon be offering a voice service.

CEO Jan Koum said the voice service will be deployed for Android and iPhones this spring, with Blackberry and Microsoft and Nokia phones coming later.

“We are going to introduce voice in WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year,” Koum said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. “I think we have the best voice product out there. We use the least amount of bandwidth.”

WhatsApp currently has a voice function but only in note form. This new service will be live.

On Wednesday, Facebook agreed to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion in a deal that is by far the biggest by the social networking company and any other done by Google, Microsoft or Apple.

Wearing a gray shirt, jeans and a black jacket, the 38-year-old Koum quipped – “last week we added a new Facebook friend. I don’t know if you guys heard.”

The blockbuster deal made serious waves with those in the telecommunications industry who gathered this week in the Catalan city, but also sparked concern among users that Facebook would introduce advertising to WhatsApp.

Koum insisted that there are no designs to add “marketing” to the messaging service.

“There are no planned changes,” said Koum. “Our vision and mission are aligned. We both want to make the world more connected.”

Facebook is paying $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash for WhatsApp. Koum along with fellow founder Brian Acton and their 55 employees were also granted restricted stock worth $3 billion that will vest over four years after the deal closes.

Koum said that he didn’t expect that WhatsApp’s staff would grow in number very much, saying that “we want to operate as a startup.”

Relatively unknown until now in the U.S., WhatsApp is popular in other countries, both in Europe and in emerging economies. The Mountain View, California, startup already has almost twice as many users as the better known short messaging service, Twitter.

WhatsApp has 465 million monthly users and 330 daily users, according to Koum. It is ad-free and costs users 99 cents a year after a first free year.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber