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WhatsApp...why not?


100+ Posts
We were first introduced to WhatsApp 10 years ago here in Italy by teenagers, they found it a great way to communicate with a group of friends. Italian phone services charge extra to text between different services (Vodafone to Wind, for example) so this app is very popular among Italians. I have had several occasions in the past when I sent an sms to someone and they responded via WhatsApp.

You can text, make calls, send photos and videos...all free.

Smartphones are more common than landlines and many businesses here encourage the use of WhatsApp. As many have experienced, email is not a primary communication medium with many Italians (individual or business).

My experience is that it seems that many from North America are not aware or hesitant to use WhatsApp, I frequently have to encourage family/friends and clients that this is a great way to communicate with us and others in Italy.

WhatsApp? Why not? ;)


Forums Admin
You got me using WhatsApp a few years ago. I was reluctant to use it because a few years ago I did not use my iPhone all the time and WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) only works on a phone. I tended to use my iPad for everything. But, over the years I use my phone more and more and go back and forth between texting and WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends.

One this I like about WhatsApp is that I can use it in Israel. I get a SIM in Israel and put it in my iPhone because UK mobile providers don't offer a travel plan for Israel. My phone then has a different phone number but WhatsApp works fine with it and I can text people who would have to pay to do a regular text to a phone in Israel.


100+ Posts
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There are some things that maybe I should research, but I'll ask here. On an iPhone, when I go to Italy I replace my U.S. SIM with an Italian SIM, and WhatsApp asks (going from memory) if I want to add the Italian number. Would this take the place of my U.S. number from WhatsApp's perspective, or would both numbers be attached to my name? Would people established as my WhatsApp contacts be able to find me regardless of which number is on my phone at that point? I think it's largely a moot question, since most people who text me have iPhones, with iMessage working in either case, and most with other phones are Facebook friends who can use Messenger.

On my last trip I had a generous data allowance but not much for phone calls, and I emptied out my account with a long time on hold with an airline's Italian office. I found that it was better to use Skype to their U.S. 800 number. Would WhatsApp also have worked, or does a business need to be known to have a WhatsApp presence?


100+ Posts
I use WhatsApp at least 2-3 times/week to keep in touch with our daughter’s in-laws in Oxford, UK and my family in Wales. It also seems to be the preferred means of communication with the two property owners of the villas in Tuscany in which we stay when we visit. The only thing I do not like is that I can not use it on my iPad, even though it is connected to my iPhone...am I missing a way to do this? Like Pauline, I use my iPad for everything...but unlike her, I have not started using my iPhone more...probably because my old eyes prefer the larger screen on my iPad.


100+ Posts
"would both numbers be attached to my name?"
"Would people established as my WhatsApp contacts be able to find me regardless of which number is on my phone at that point?"


10+ Posts
Google Fi is our cell phone service, working in 140 countries, but we use WhatsApp while in Italy to communicate with relatives - no issues whatsoever.


100+ Posts
We use WhatsApp to keep in touch with our oldest when he's deployed, as long as he has a wi-fi connection we can talk free.


1000+ Posts
We're with T-Mobile, so we have free data and texting in Italy, and we use WhatsApp more and more each time we visit. For phone calls we still have our Italian cell phone, (bought at least 10 yrs ago!), so we still have an Italian number and can call restaurants to make reservations. For just about everything else texting and WhatsApp make everything so simple.

I also use Google hangouts to call back to the U.S. for free, using my laptop. I call to make dentist/doctor/hair appointments while we're still in Italy, or to take care of any business.
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500+ Posts
I use WhatsApp on my iPhone, my Apple 4 Watch, my MacBook and my iPad.

All of the non-phone usage is controlled by having it on the iPhone. There's a scan code that comes up on these "external" apps that you scan with your iPhone to authorize usage on the other devices. I communicate a lot with my friends in the US (Slow Travelers), as well as when we're traveling.


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