WhatsApp has started rolling out a new feature that will be particularly helpful in classifying forwards, and taking on the fake news and information dissemination problem that plagues the platform. Forwarded messages now carry a tag above the message saying ‘forwarded’, which helps inform the receiver of the message that the sender has forwarded it. This will help differentiate between messages actually typed out and forwarded as received.
We tried out the feature on WhatsApp beta on an Android smartphone, and it does indeed work. However, it’s worth noting that the tag only appears when a message has been actually forwarded using the ‘forward’ button when you highlight the received message. Simply copying the message and pasting it into another chat does not show the ‘forwarded’ tag. However, forwards can be sent to multiple contacts in one go, while copying and pasting a message can only be sent to one contact at a time. It will thus help to know when a message has simply been mass-forwarded.
For the time being, the feature is only available on the beta version of WhatsApp for Android (Version 2.18.179), but is expected to be made available on the stable versions for other platforms as well. If you receive a lot of forwards, you’ll no doubt be happy with this new feature, since it will help you distinguish (and then ignore, if you wish) any messages that are sent to you as forwards.
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WhatsApp also recently rolled out the predicted upload feature for iOS and Android, which helps speed up the process of sending media files to your contacts. New features usually reach WhatsApp’s beta versions before the stable versions get them, allowing advanced users to test out the features before they are made available to the general user base.