WhatsApp's new quick web search feature will now let you verify information you receive

The feature will let users quickly search the web to find out news results or other sources of information about the content they receive.


WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world. And owing to its popularity, it's arguably also one of the most common means of sharing information online, which can often be misleading or even false. Now, the Facebook-owned company has brought forward a way to quickly check the credibility of these forwarded messages.

Starting this week, a magnifying glass button will appear beside messages in select countries in a pilot roll out, the company said a company blog. By clicking on the button, users can quickly search the web to find out news results or other sources of information about the content that they have received.

 WhatsApps new quick web search feature will now let you verify information you receive

WhatsApp will now let you verify information you receive on the messenger. Image: WhatsApp

Upon selecting the magnifying glass icon, a pop-up message will appear that reads: “Would you like to search this on the web? This will upload the message to Google.” You can either press on ‘Search Web’ or ‘Cancel’. According to WhatsApp, the app will upload the message via a user’s default browser without it seeing the message itself.

This button will appear beside heavily-forwarded messages, those pieces of information that have not been created by your close contact but simply forwarded from somewhere else.

Earlier, WhatsApp had introduced a 'double-arrow' label that read 'Forwarded' on such messages. In order to keep the spread of misinformation in check, WhatsApp has limited the number of times a message can be forwarded. From April this year, widely forwarded messages could only be “forwarded to one chat at a time”.

Android Police spotted the feature back in March, which means WhatsApp has been trying to limit the spread of fake articles on the platform for some time now.

The feature will work on the latest versions of WhatsApp for iOS, Android, and WhatsApp Web. From last Monday, the 'Search the Web' option has started rolling in Italy, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, United States, United Kingdom, and Spain.


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