13 Whatsapp Etiquettes

Too many times people lack this knowledge and believe that their way is the only way to communicate. And some I’ve asked even told me that they would reply a message if they “feel” like replying.

To avoid giving people the wrong impressions and also build a better way to communicate, we are sharing some tips on how to exercise good Whatsapp etiquette. Let’s get down to it!

Adam Ay

First and foremost, it all depends on what main messaging app you actually use. Now let’s assume that 90% of humans use Whatsapp and the other 10% are using other platforms such as Wechat and Weibo, calculating that you also spend a great amount of time on Instagram (DMs) , LinkedIn (Message or InMail) and Facebook Messenger, you know that whatever I share here can benefit how you communicate on all your platforms.

So if your phone has a line and the number is connected to that app and you’re mostly on it and people know that that’s the place that they can contact you for emergencies (and where the government can find you on) , then that’s the app that is your core communications unit.

Let’s begin.


1. The basics is to put a profile photo on your account. Now, if you’re the shy sort or do it for security purposes, please use an avatar or a picture of a saying or quote. Go ahead, it’s absolutely fine. A photo will show your sincerity and professionalism especially if your account is where people communicate with you professionally. Some people will put their company logo or a mission statement of their belief. An empty profile picture looks dodgy and can signal to others that this person is either lazy, too busy, aren’t that interested or have the “couldn’t be bothered” attitude.

2. Now go to the settings of Whatsapp where you can find your photo.

Below it, is a place for you to enter your name or alias. Type that in.

Below that, is your phone number and the About section. This is where you write what you want people to know about when texting you ( ” Keep it short and sweet, am busy”), a quote you believe in ( ” Great minds think alike ” ) or your Availability status ( At work, will reply later).

When you put this in, people will know how they can address you or what they can expect from you. This will reflect in their messages. So maybe avoid writing ” The son of Satan” down on that. ๐Ÿ˜’ Just saying.


Don’t be Anonymous

3. When texting someone who doesn’t have your info/number, do introduce yourself at the beginning or at the least – the end when signing off ,cos you don’t want people to try and figure out who you are, like a puzzle with a million jigsaws. It’s all basic courtesy and common sense. Since they don’t have your number stored, it’s going to take them some time to figure out who you are and whether they should reply an anonymous person.

Be Prompt Whenever Possible

4. When you receive a text, especially from people you actually know, your decent gesture is to reply at the soonest. It’s not kind, not respectable and uncalled for to reply a person you know ~ 3 days later unless you genuinely forgot due to being super busy or anything else that falls under an emergency.

Yes, I’ve even experienced someone getting back to me in a week or two. I kid you not. It’s appalling. Family matters and non avoidable emergencies should be one if not only reasons for a two week reply.

5. When unable to reply properly to discuss further, do inform the person that you’re unable to speak now to discuss and you’ll get back to them as soon as the chaos turns down. Also include that you will find a good time to give your full attention at the soonest possible moment. A quick fast way to do this is to make a VN ( voice note ). Do you see that microphone icon? Press and hold on it and record your message so at least it’s fast and you can do it even in a whisper. This should take 15s of your time.

Example of a text;

” Hey John, thanks for reaching out. I’m not able to discuss that with you right at this moment so I’ll get back to you as soon as I can on this. Got a lot on my plate lately so sorry for late replies. I’ll buzz you when I can. “

A simple note like this shows how sincere you are and how professional you can be. You took that 30s of time to text someone to let them know that they’re valued and that they matter. It’s just that you can’t find the time at the moment, that’s all. And you’ll be surprised that people do appreciate this gesture and you gain their respect.

People Know Something’s Wrong

Kev Costello

6. Unless you’re known to be a 24/7 A-hole at replying people ( which I doubt so) , it’s uncommon and unlikely of you to not reply. So when in a bad mood or in trouble, naturally people will know that there’s something wrong. This way, they know that something must’ve happened to you and they might find other means to contact or connect with you or they know to leave you alone at this moment and you’re excused for taking time out. This is the only way that you can let people know without “letting people know”, you know what I mean. No reply is still communicating something to people.

Some Common Sense

7. When receiving a text from someone who replied you saying they are busy, please reply back with a short and understanding message. Don’t reply in a way that the message thread leads to a continued conversation. As mentioned already, they said they were busy. So do your best to understand their position. And if it’s truly urgent, let them know that the issue is as such.

Urgent and Time Sensitive

Jamie Street

8. If it’s an urgent matter that requires immediate response, do give them a call or a text message saying that you’re about to call them in so and so minutes ( for people who are against talking on the phone ๐Ÿ˜’ for some reason ). If they refuse to answer your call, text them saying that you’re making that call at lunch time or in the evening.

9. Inform the person in the message that their reply is needed at the soonest possible time as it is time sensitive. The way you value your time and how others do can be vastly different so maintain a general idea that you can’t expect people to wait on you and also that you can’t expect an immediate reply as well.

You are allowed to Live how you Want To

Conscious Design

10. If you’re not into texting, communicating or being in touch, please delete the app and let people find you through pagers, emails or letters.
I know you don’t care about how others feel about it but for you to keep in good status with the “planet” ( your tribe and contacts) , you need to make it known to others that these are the only forms of communications with you. Via landline or via snail mail. People will honour the way you choose to live and in perspective you must also honour how others live as well. So find that balance and reach a compromise to find a common ground that there could be a give and take. People appreciate you making an effort to connect digitally even if they know that it’s hard to reach you or make you answer a call.

The Decent Thing to Do

11. The best timing to reply someone at the very latest is within 24hrs from the said text maximum two days. Unless it’s someone you don’t particularly want to talk to or someone who you don’t have the time to entertain ( those “talkers”) , then by all means ignore them if you’d like, text them to shut them off or easily just block them. Voila! Problem solved.

12. When inside a Group chat, please at the least participate in something. Anything. Reply someone when somebody says “Hey everyone, does anyone know this..? ” in the chat. Don’t always leave it to the good samaritan that is always replying people cos they’re just good people. When you see that that person is being ignored, then just do the right thing by replying them if you do or even if you do not know the answer. Cos you won’t want to feel insignificant let alone make others feel this way.


Help, contribute, be a part of the topic, make an exclaim like ” Wow! That’s nice!” . Don’t be in a chat to receive updates and be a scroll monster. If you’re not interested to be in a chat than excuse yourself. Or just let them know ahead , ” Hey guys, I’m gonna mute this chat ok but I’m still here, so if anyone needs to get my attention, you can Pm directly k cos I might’ve missed it, so sorry. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ “. This sounds diplomatic and fair. So you can still be a part of the convo and at the same time you’re letting people know that they won’t get an answer from you immediately.

13. I know there are a lot of people who are the scroll monsters in a chat. I bet you in the groups you’re in right now ( which is like 30 groups or more) , you are one of them. So, we get it. You only want to add value to a convo and you seek out those who are really in trouble or are lost and require assistance, and only then you’ll voice out. Well done. At least, you did something. I know that most of us are not into the small talks and gossips and who did what or “here’s a meme” extras, I mean it’s understandable that you won’t want to or are able to catch up with the convo thread. It’s fine. As long as you’re a contributor of some sort, you’re in everyone’s good books. People will just know that you get into the convo when it truly matters.

Thought Catalog

I am sure there are more for me to share or if you have any good tips to add on in the comments, please do, I just have to write it up in future if I come across anymore. These are just at the top of my head.

So I hope that you’ve got a thing or two about basic Whatsapp etiquette. Hope that you are able to communicate better, be more considerate towards others and more empathetic. You’ll create a better impression of yourself as a person or a professional. Here’s to making better genuine connections.

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