WhatsApp now lets you quickly search Google for forwarded messages
The goal is to reduce misinformation, or fake news
WhatsApp users can now search the web when receiving certain forwarded messages flagged by the platform. The messaging platform on Monday detailed the new feature, saying it provides users with a quick way to find news results and other sources of information.
When a forwarded message is shared, a magnifying glass will appear next to the message, signifying you can tap the magnifying glass button to search the web. To preserve privacy, users choose to upload messages via their browser without WhatsApp itself ever seeing the message. That way, end-to-end encryption will be preserved as the user is the one sending the contents of forwarded messages to their web browser.
The messaging platform first started flagging forwarded messages back in 2018. Earlier this year, they tightened restrictions on frequently forwarded messages by preventing users from sharing these messages to more than one chat at a time. With this new feature, users can quickly verify the veracity of any claims in a forwarded message for themselves by performing a quick Google search query.
WhatsApp said its “search the web” option will be available starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and the US for Android, iOS, and WhatsApp Web. This feature was spotted in beta tests earlier this year alongside other upcoming features like multi-device access, searching by date, and more.