How to start a WhatsApp chat without, ugh, creating a new contact

As more and more businesses and services add official WhatsApp accounts, it can be a pain when they clutter up your smartphone's contact list. There's a simpler way to chat in such cases. — Photo: Martin Gerten/dpa

BERLIN: Your plumber, hairdresser and kid's headmaster don't all need to be in your list of contacts on your phone. And yet for many, this is what ends up happening if you want to reach them on WhatsApp.

Thanks to WhatsApp's so-called "click to chat" function, you don't have to save a new contact for every new chat.

This handy feature essentially lets you chat to any person or company without saving the contact on your smartphone. The only requirement on both sides is an active WhatsApp account.

Here's how it works: In any smartphone or computer browser, type in the internet address followed by the phone number you're trying to reach.

Make sure to add the international dialling code before the number, but without any prefix zeros, plus sign, brackets, spaces or hyphens, for example the US phone number 001-484-555-1234 would become:

Then tap the enter key and WhatsApp will ask if you want to chat to that number. Just tap on the "continue to chat" button and the chat will open automatically. The whole thing works on smartphones and tablets as well as on any computer with the WhatsApp web app in the browser. – dpa

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