New WhatsApp feature to identify ‘viral content’


Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has started rolling out a new feature that will let users identify if the message they have received has been forwarded over five times.
The new feature, available both on Android and iOS, had been in the pipeline for over a year when the Facebook-owned company announced that it is looking at “new ways of addressing viral content”.
“We’ve recently introduced an update to our forwarded message label that helps people identify when they’ve received messages that were previously forwarded several times, such as a chain message. These highly forwarded messages will be marked with a double arrow icon and users will receive a notice when they are forwarding such a message,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
The double arrow will appear for messages forwarded that have been more than five times. However, WhatsApp won’t give out the exact number of times a message has been forwarded and “the number of times a message has been forwarded will be end-to-end encrypted”, said the company.
“In addition, long text messages, such as chain messages, will arrive truncated so users will have to tap to see the full message. We think this will reduce frustration of receiving such messages within a group chat,” the company told
The frequently forwarded feature, meant to curb misinformation, is an addition to the update WhatsApp had launched in July 2018, when it had first begun to test forwarding limits.
The company had set a lower limit of 5 chats where messages could be forwarded at once and removed the quick forward button next to media messages.
In a blog on January 21, WhatsApp had said it was making the feature permanent to “help keep WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts.”


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