WhatsApp today announced that it is introducing a new “Chat Lock” feature designed to give users an extra layer of security for their most intimate conversations. As the name suggests, this feature lets you lock a chat, which pulls that thread out of the inbox and puts it behind its own folder that can only be accessed with your device’s password or biometric, such as a fingerprint.
Once you lock a chat, the app also automatically hides the content of that chat from notifications. You can lock a chat by tapping the name of a one-on-one or group and selecting the lock option. To reveal these chats you have to slowly pull down your inbox and enter your phone password or biometric.
“We think this feature will be great for people who have reason to share their phone with a family member from time to time or those times when someone else is holding your phone the moment an extra special chat comes in,” the company wrote. in a blog post.
The company, which is owned by Meta, says it plans to add more Chat Lock options, including locking for associated devices and creating a custom password for your chats so you can use a unique password that differs of the password you use for your phone.
While WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, that doesn’t apply when someone has unlocked access to your phone and can see your messages. The new feature provides an extra layer of security in these cases.
The new feature comes a few weeks after WhatsApp added a few new updates around polling and sharing on its platform. As part of these updates, you now have the option to create one-vote polls, which means you can run a poll where people are only allowed to vote once. As for sharing, you can now forward media with captions.