How to Monitor WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger and Other Instant Messages

I often get asked what is the best way to spy on WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger or some of the other instant message services for cell phones. Some cell phone spy software programs can monitor these apps but why is it becoming important? I’ll explain a little about how the different apps work and then look at how some of the monitoring software can help.

The vast majority of people who want to monitor instant messages are concerned parents, looking for some extra ways to add parental controls. Programs such as WhatsApp are a relatively new technology, embraced by kids and often beyond most parents.

There are many different instant message and web chat services available for all kinds of smart phones but most of them work in a similar way. Once installed on a cell phone they allow users to send messages and files as a data transfer on the Internet connection, therefore avoiding any text charges.

They are a bit like a free text messaging service but a little more advanced. Users can send video, photos, music and location information – as well as text. Most also have a group chat facility where several people can engage in a conversation. They are becoming very popular, mostly among teenagers. You can see the appeal, free unlimited texting!


WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger Monitoring

copyright WhatsApp

This is probably the most popular one at the moment. It is a cross-platform messenger service available as a free download from the Google Play Store – for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Nokia Smartphones. Cross-platform just means it can send messages from an iPhone to an Android phone if both users have the app enabled.

GTalk – Google’s own product, sometimes called Gchat, similar to WhatsApp and is also cross-platform.

BlackBerry Messenger – similar service but only between BlackBerry users.

iMessage – instant message service between any Apple devices running iOS. Any communication between an iPhone and non-Apple phone will be sent as a regular text message.


So What’s the Problem?

The problem is that parents who are monitoring their children’s cell phones with spy phone software cannot always get access to what is being said in these messaging services. Because they are not regular SMS texts some of the software programs will not pick them up.

Now for many people this will not be an issue as they can find out enough from regular text monitoring and see if they are using these apps from the browser logs. You could always ban your kids from using these chat platforms. But some spy software will be able to monitor what is said – in certain circumstances.

As the technology develops I expect to see better provision for this in the future as these apps become more widely used. At the moment monitoring messenger apps is a little bit hit and miss. There are so many variables for the software to handle, communication online across different platforms and service providers. No one program provides a complete solution – Yet!

I’ll list a few of the programs and what they can do and add to it as more features are rolled out.

Flexispy – They offer the most comprehensive monitoring for social and chat sites, with 13 services monitored including: WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook, Line, iMessage, BBMessenger and more – check out my review for full details.

mSpy – again covering quite a list including SnapChat, Viber, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BB Messenger, iMessage and more.

MobiStealth Spy – you can view all activity on WhatsApp and Facebook, available for the iPhone and Rooted Android phones only. (see my article about Rooting an Android phone if you don’t know what this is). With a Rooted Android you can also view Twitter activity. With Mobile Spy on a BlackBerry you can monitor BlackBerry Messenger, GTalk and Windows Live activity. For the iPhone you can monitor iMessage and the YouTube App allowing you to see what videos have been viewed.

Mobile Spy – No Longer Recommended – monitors WhatsApp only for the iPhone at the moment, again with their full package. Just remember that Mobile Spy is no longer hidden from the user and has greatly reduced monitoring features.

As you can see none offer a straightforward solution to cover all messaging apps. At the moment Mobile Spy has the most options but you need to keep an eye on coming developments. It is not a huge issue at the moment but more people are asking about monitoring WhatsApp and the others. As these apps become more common the spy software programs will be competing to offer the best coverage.

If you really need to monitor a specific messenger service double check the company website information before buying. Don’t just see that they monitor your required app – make sure they can monitor it on your target cell phone – it is definitely not a case of one size fits all. Check back often as things are changing every few months as new updates are released. Hope this helped!

Remember to check my individual Reviews for more details – and read the comments.

18 Responses to How to Monitor WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger and Other Instant Messages

  1. Chui June 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    When you say it can monitor WhatsApp , do you mean it can actually get the messages and you can read them ?

    • Michael Keenan June 20, 2014 at 11:47 am #

      Yes – you can actually read them and see times and dates sent and received and contacts.

      • maria December 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

        If I need to monitor my son messages in whatsapp do I have to installed in his phone and mine as well…. no sure how this system works

        • Michael Keenan December 10, 2014 at 10:38 am #

          Just on his phone – the target phone. You then log on to the online dashboard to view all reports. The logs of all activity will be sent to the online dashboard which you view over the internet. Hope that is a little clearer!

  2. prevash October 28, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    will this software work in South Africa?

    • Michael Keenan October 29, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      It will work anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection.

  3. Nass November 22, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    what is the best spy app for android to track whatsaap without rooting ?

    • Michael Keenan December 10, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      To monitor WhatsApp, all of the software programs must have Root access. No way around that for Android I’m afraid.

      • John January 12, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

        Hi Michael,

        Will this software show all deleted messages (watsapp, bbm and other instant messages?)

        • Michael Keenan January 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

          Once the software is installed, any texts, messages etc. will be logged as soon as they are sent – even if the user then deletes them.

  4. Liz March 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Does the spyware also read the incoming messages?

    • Michael Keenan March 9, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

      Yes you can see both sides of the conversation – incoming and outgoing – including pictures and logs of the contact details.

  5. brittney April 12, 2015 at 5:15 am #

    Hello, I recently had to update and MASTER FACTORY RESET my iPhone , with everything erased and reset back to its original version that you can purchase in the store, if I did have a tracker will it be gone now?? or will it still stay on my phone?

    • Michael Keenan April 13, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      You are correct – a factory reset will remove any installed spy softare. With the iPhone it will also remove any Jailbreak and therefore any monitoring software.

  6. Tolga May 21, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    Hello, I want to Read my Sons Messages in Whatsapp. He owns a Android Phone. Should I root his Phone to Read the Messanger ? Or is it Possible to read the messages without root .

    • Michael Keenan June 7, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

      To monitor Whatsapp you need to Root the Android phone – no way around this I’m afraid. It is easy enough though. Good luck.

  7. Mike January 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi Michael
    What is the best app for the iphone to monitoring all the chat app and not expensive?

    • Michael Keenan February 9, 2016 at 12:56 am #

      Flexispy and mSpy cover the largest range of chat messengers for iPhone at the moment – check my reviews.

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