WhatsApp said on Monday it was expanding the five-recipient limit on forwarded messages to all users globally. In July, it had imposed the restriction in India after a series of lynching incidents that followed rumours spread on the messaging app.
Earlier, WhatsApp users could forward messages to 20 contacts at once.
In a press release, the Facebook-owned company said the restriction was being extended to keep the service a private messaging app.
“We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today,” Victoria Grand, the vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said in Indonesia, Reuters reported.
WhatsApp said the results of its six-month test in India had shown that forwarding reduced significantly as a result of the restriction.
WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forwarding limit, the company’s Head of Communications Carl Woog said. The update will be available first to Android users. The quick forward button next to media messages will also be removed worldwide.
The restriction in India had followed a spate of mob lynchings that claimed 22 lives in various states. The mobs seem to have been influenced by widely shared WhatsApp videos and messages asking people to beware of child kidnappers.