WhatsApp is continuing its efforts to curb the spread of fake news with the rollout of a new feature. Users in India can update the app from the Play Store and App Store, which will introduce a new feature that will tell users if the message has been forwarded many times.
WhatsApp's "frequently forwarded" feature was spotted in beta in March and has finally made it to the public. Users will see an additional indicator while forwarding a message that has been forwarded many times.
"We have recently introduced an update to our forwarded message label that helps people identify when they have 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 notification when they are forwarding such a message," WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.
We checked with a few messages that we thought have been frequently forwarded and the label appeared on them. What's unclear, though, is how many times a message has been forwarded to be flagged by this new feature. Several other messages, which have been appeared in more than one groups, weren't flagged as "frequently forwarded" when we tried forwarding them further.
Another indicator for a "frequently forwarded" message is that a user will see two arrows on a forwarded message if it has been coming down a long chain.
It appears WhatsApp has a certain threshold for a forwarded message to be flagged by its new feature. If you find yourself getting the alert "This message will be marked as forwarded many times," then it's time to evaluate the importance of sharing the message and take extra time to verify its authenticity.
WhatsApp's "frequently forwarded" feature is one of many efforts to curb the spread of fake news on the platform. The app already has effective features in place, like the one to prevent users from forwarding a message to more than five contacts at a time, and another one is the introduction of "forwarded message" label.
WhatsApp is constantly working on new features to improve the user experience on its platform. There are more than a billion users relying on WhatsApp for their daily communication needs. WhatsApp is testing its payment service, WhatsApp Pay, in India and it is expected to roll it out the by the end of this year.
Another anticipated feature in the pipeline is the dark mode. While WhatsApp hasn't given any official word on this, certain reports have already hinted that the feature is already in the works. It is only a matter of time before we get it. Stay tuned for updates.