WhatsApp has put a limit on frequently forwarded messages to prevent them from being forwarded to one chat at a time. As defined by WhatsApp, a frequently forwarded message is one which has been forwarded five times or more. The distinction was introduced by WhatsApp last year and these messages are denoted by a double arrow symbol.
WhatsApp said it had made the move after seeing a significant increase in the amount of forwarding, and feedback from users that this can feel overwhelming and can also contribute to the spread of misinformation. “We believe it’s important to slow the spread of these messages down to keep WhatsApp a place for personal conversation,” the company said in a blog post.
WhatsApp is also testing another feature enables users to find out more information about the source of frequently forwarded messages. This involves displaying a magnifying glass icon next to such messages, giving users the option to send that message to a web search where they can find news results or other sources of information to avoid spreading false rumours.
“We believe that now more than ever people need to be able to connect privately,” the blog post concludes. “Our teams are hard at work to keep WhatsApp running reliably during this unprecedented global crisis. We’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve ways for people to share with each other on WhatsApp.