Facebook to bring WhatsApp-like limit on forwarding messages for Messenger
Just like WhatsApp, Messenger will limit forwarding of a message to five chats in one go.
Social networking companies are stepping up efforts to fight misinformation relating to the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook, the world's largest social networking platform, has already taken a few initiatives. The company is now working on a new measure to combat Covid-19 rumours and hoaxes - limiting message forwarding to five chats at a time on Facebook Messenger.
The feature appears to be like WhatsApp's which bars users from forwarding a message to more than five chats in one go. Facebook's upcoming feature was first spotted by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.
"Facebook Messenger is working on limiting the amount of threads a message can be forwarded at a time, in order to add frictions on misinformation," she said in a tweet which also features a short clip of how the functionality works.
Confirming the feature, Facebook's EMEA Communications Manager Alexandru Voica said it was still under development and is being tested internally.
"We're working hard to limit the spread of misinfo on our platforms, especially with #COVID19, and we're exploring more options like testing stricter limits for how many chats you can fwd a message to at one time," he said.
We're working hard to limit the spread of misinfo on our platforms, especially with #COVID19, and we're exploring more options like testing stricter limits for how many chats you can fwd a message to at one time. This feature is still in development and not testing externally yet https://t.co/6ukn1TmSLi— Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) March 22, 2020
Facebook Messenger is one of the biggest messaging platforms in the world followed by Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
The arrival of new feature comes at a time when Facebook is seeing a big spike in usage on the platform as millions of people are staying indoors due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The company revealed that there's been a 50% increase in usage of its services like voice and video calling, and Facebook Live amid the lockdown.
"At the same time, our business is being adversely affected like so many others around the world. We don't monetize many of the services where we're seeing increased engagement, and we've seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19," Facebook said in its blog post.