Popular messaging app WhatsApp has put a limit on message forwarding in a bid to fight fake news.

The Facebook-owned service is limiting the number of times a user can share a message to five.

Until now, users could forward messages to up to 20 times.

WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, introduced the restriction about six months ago in India, after a number of mob lynchings were blamed on fake reports spread via the service.

The firm told the BBC it had made its decision after "carefully" evaluating the results of its half-year-long test in the country.

WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit, starting Monday, WhatsApp’s head of communications Carl Woog told Reuters.

Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple’s iOS.