WhatsApp posted on its blog “Chat Lock” Making your most intimate conversations even more private”. The purpose of this new feature appears to give users a more secure way to protect their intimate conversations behind one more layer of security. From the blog post:
Our passion is to find new ways to help keep your messages private and secure. Today, we’re excited to bring to you a new feature we’re calling Chat Lock, which lets you protect your most intimate conversations behind one more layer of security,
Locking a chat takes that thread out of the inbox and puts it behind its own folder that can only be accessed with your device password or biometric, like a fingerprint. It also automatically hides the content of that chat in notifications, too.
We think this feature will be great for people who have reason to share their phones from time to time with a family member of those moments where someone else is holding your phone at the exact moment an extra special chat arrives.You can lock a chat by tapping the name of a one-to-one or group and selecting the lock option. To reveal these chats, slowly pull down on your inbox and enter your phone password or biometric.
Over the next few months, we’re going to be adding more options for Chat Lock, including locking for companion devices and creating a custom password for your chats so that you can use a unique password different from the one you use for your phone.
Engadget reported that Chat Lock should allow users to keep certain conversations more private. The tool lets you lock any conversation, which it places in a specialized folder that is only accessible via biometrics, like a fingerprint or a face scan, or by entering a current password.
According to Engadget, WhatsApp says they’re busy prepping for more features for Chat Lock, like the ability to create a custom password for each chat and a tool to lock chats across multiple devices. Parent company Meta has been extraordinarily busy trying to keep WhatsApp safe and reliable, as it recently beefed up the verification system to hinder would-be scammers and added more options to deal with disappearing messages.
iPhone in Canada reported that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on Chat Lock, saying “New locked chats in WhatsApp make your conversations more private. They’re hidden in a password protected folder and notifications won’t show sender or message content.”
Chat Lock brings further privacy to conversations and is something iMessage should integrate at some point as well. There’s nothing worse than seeing some embarrassing notifications pop up from your group chats that aren’t silenced, iPhone in Canada reported. On iPhone, it is possible to lock down the opening of WhatsApp with Face ID or Touch ID, but that doesn’t stop or hide notifications from chats.
iPhone in Canada also reported: We’re not seeing WhatsApp Chat Lock in Canada yet, but if you are, let us know.
To me, it makes sense for WhatsApp to provide the kind of privacy that should be enabled for private, personal chats. This new feature makes WhatsApp one of the most secure apps for people who want to have personal chats with someone special.