WhatsApp has announced new features which will begin to roll out to users in the coming weeks.
Chief amongst these new features is a way to check the validity of messages that have been forwarded many times on the platform.
These messages will appear with a magnifying glass icon next to them, and tapping this icon will open the user’s browser and execute a search, WhatsApp said.
“Today, we’re piloting a simple way to double-check these messages by tapping a magnifying glass button in the chat,” it said.
“Providing a simple way to search messages that have been forwarded many times may help people find news results or other sources of information about the content they have received.
“This feature works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.”
WhatsApp said that the new feature will first be rolled out in phases with Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US set to receive the feature first.
The group has previously indicated that it will take steps to clamp down on fake news which is being circulated on its platform.
The company now provides a special forwarded label to messages shared in chats that have been forwarded many times. These two arrows help people know when they’ve received a message that was not written by a close contact, the group said.
It also set limits on how many times they can be sent at once to maintain the private nature of WhatsApp.
In July the messaging service said that other features will begin to roll out to users in the coming weeks, including animated stickers and QR codes.
The additions include:
- Animated Stickers: Stickers are one of the fastest growing ways people communicate on WhatsApp, with billions sent every day. New animated sticker packs that are even more fun and expressive will be rolled out;
- QR codes: When meeting new contacts, users will be able to scan their QR code to add them to their contacts list. No more tapping in digits one at a time;
- Dark mode for WhatsApp web and desktop: The incredibly popular Dark Mode theme now extends to computers;
- Improvements to group video calls: There will now be up to 8 people on a video call, and allowing users to maximise a participant’s video to full screen. Users will also be able to 1-tap to start group chats in groups fewer than 8.
- Status comes to KaiOS: KaiOS users can now share updates that disappear after 24 hours.