WhatsApp will now globally limit message 'forwards' to five chats at a time, a practice it had introduced in India in July last year to crack down on spread of rumours and fake news through its platform.
In an update to its blog on Monday, the Facebook-owned company said the move will help keep "WhatsApp focused on private messaging with close contacts".
"WhatsApp carefully evaluated this test and listened to user feedback over a six-month period. The forward limit significantly reduced forwarded messages around the world," it said.
The messaging platform -- which has about 1.5 billion users globally and counts India, Brazil and Indonesia among its major markets -- said it will continue to listen to user feedback on their experience, and "over time, look for new ways of addressing viral content".
Earlier, WhatsApp users could forward a message to 20 recipients.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told that during the test period, the company saw a 25 per cent reduction of forwarded messages being shared on WhatsApp.
"We believe this is a reasonable number to reach close friends, while helping prevent abuse," the spokesperson added.