WhatsApp forward limits have cut the spread of viral messages by 70 percent

WhatsApp considers any message forwarded more than five times as a “viral message"

Highlights
  • WhatsApp introduced limits to forwarding messages earlier this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic
  • The limits were to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation
  • The feature limits forwards of viral messages to one chat at a time

WhatsApp introduced a limit earlier this year that allowed users to forward viral messages to only one chat at a time. The forwarded messages limit was to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation that was growing during the coronavirus pandemic. The company now claims it has seen a 70 percent reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages since introducing the new limit. The chat service regards “viral messages” as those which have been previously forwarded five times or more.

“WhatsApp is committed to doing our part in tackling viral messages. Since putting into place the new limit, globally, there has been a 70 percent reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages sent on WhatsApp. This change is helping keep WhatsApp a place for personal and private conversations,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

Per Business Standard report WhatsApp has also informed Central government about the reduction of viral messages. An official at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) confirmed they had been informed and said: WhatsApp is saying that their limit of one per forward for viral messages has brought down the spread of such messages.” The government, to recall, had pulled the WhatsApp and other social messaging platforms over fake messages and forwards pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In related news, WhatsApp has doubled group video and voice calling limit on its platform. Users will now be able to make group calls with up to eight people simultaneously. This was previously limited to just four people. The new WhatsApp group call limit is available for WhatsApp on iOS and it can be downloaded from the App Store. WhatsApp for Android is yet to receive the new update, but we speculate it could be around the corner as it is already available for beta users.