WhatsApp boldly going where many have gone before

30 Mar 2016

WhatsApp is finally getting its formatting groove on, with the latest update adding a bit more emphasis to your whimsical chats.

A recent update to WhatsApp has left iOS users particularly pleased, with italic, bold and strikethrough options now available in chats.

The three options are becoming a regular feature on communication tools of late – and hark back to previous html iterations – with WhatsApp’s formatting along the lines of the likes of Slack.

By that we mean bolding up text requires the use of * before and after any text you want enhanced. For italics you use _ and for strikethrough you use ~.

You can double up, or even triple up, if you like. If you want to make a text appear in bold as well as italics, start and end your text with _* and *_. Similarly, to combine all three you wrap your text in ~_* and *_~.

It’s something WhatsApp has been messing around with for a while, with a beta version appearing in Google Play a few weeks back. But now it’s in the wild, but only on Apple products so far.


WhatsApp now lets iOS users format text (left, yay!) and Android users try, but fail (right, boo)

What that means is I can try all I like to bold up an insult to someone, but I can’t see the effect. If they’re on iOS, though, they can.

So WhatsApp for iOS v2.12.17 = good. WhatsApp for Android v 2.12.556 = not so much.

Main image of someone texting, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic