The beauty of WhatsApp, along with other popular third-party chat apps, is that it allows you to message anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re reaching out to friends, family, or new acquaintances, or if those people have an iPhone or Android. If they have a WhatsApp, they can chat. However, there is one person you haven’t been texting on WhatsApp that you probably should be: yourself.
If you’re coming from a platform like iMessage, the ability to message yourself might not seem novel. But on WhatsApp, it’s a brand new feature. In the past, the app offered no direct way to send a text to your own number. One workaround, though, was to start a group chat, then remove all other members, which would leave only yourself to your own thoughts.
But why bother texting yourself in the first place? This isn’t a hack for those of us with no one else to message. Instead, texting yourself can be a helpful replacement for a notes app: You can jot down ideas, interesting links you stumble upon, or any photos or videos you want to share. And because its WhatsApp, and not a random notes app, you could use this space to store content you want to share with other WhatsApp users down the line.
It’s also useful for sharing files across devices. Sharing files from Mac to Android or Windows to iPhone is notoriously annoying. Using a cross-platform app like WhatsApp can make that process much smoother. I personally use the feature in Slack all the time to store notes and other work files I want to share down the line, so I bet frequent WhatsApp users could find similar benefits here.
To text yourself using WhatsApp, you’ll need to be running version 22.23.74 on iOS, or version 188.8.131.52 on Android.
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If the feature is up and running on your device, you should see it when you start a new chat. While the same list of contacts will appear, you should see your contact appear right at the top. Tap it, and you’ll open a new chat with yourself, with the branding “Message yourself.” From here, text yourself like you would anyone else, only the conversation will be one-sided. Like all other chats, these texts are end-to-end encrypted, so it’s perfectly safe and secure to use.
If you don’t see the feature right now, don’t worry: WhatsApp is rolling it out to all users over the coming days. As long as your app is updated, you should see it soon.