WhatsApp has seen a major reduction in viral messages since it imposed new limits on message forwarding earlier this month, according to TechCrunch. The spread of “highly forwarded” messages on the service has dropped by 70% globally, a spokesperson told the site.
The private messaging service announced in early April that it was placing limits on the mass-forwarding of messages in an effort to stop misinformation about the coronavirus winging its way around the world.
Specifically, it placed a new limit on “frequently forwarded” messages — which it defines as messages which have already been forwarded on five times. The change meant such messages could only be forwarded to one chat at a time rather than en masse.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of forwarding which users have told us can feel overwhelming and can 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,” WhatsApp said in a blog post on April 7.