WhatsApp is upping the ante against prying eyes, so it seems. The instant messaging platform, owned by Meta, is tipped to be working on a new privacy feature that may— someday— let you lock specific chats so someone who borrowed your phone can’t access them without your consent.
It is not uncommon of people to have an interest in people’s private lives, often times, uncomfortably so. Every once in a while, you may hand over your phone to somebody and unknowingly give them a peek into your personal lives, through WhatsApp chats for instance, those you might not want to share with everybody. But there is an off chance it might happen. WhatsApp’s seemingly under-the-works “Lock Chat” feature could be just what the doctor ordered for your privacy.
WhatsApp update tracker website WABetainfo has spotted the feature in WhatsApp beta version 188.8.131.52 (for Android). The reported feature, currently in internal development and not available for users yet, would allow them to “lock chats and keep them hidden.” The report adds that it may be available in a future update of the app but there is no word when it might happen.
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As the name suggests, WhatsApp’s lock chat feature would allow users to pick out specific chats both individual and group and put them behind an additional layer of security accessible via the user’s fingerprint or pass code only “making it nearly impossible for anyone else to open the chat,” the report mentions. Locked messages should be non-accessible in the notifications tray as well and if someone tries to open them, they’ll reportedly be prompted to clear the chat first to open it. Locking a chat would also lock photos and videos being exchanged in those chats which means they won’t even show up in your phone’s gallery by default.
Screenshots shared in the report further suggest locked chats will be kept separately from other chats.
As we mentioned earlier, there is no word when the said feature will be available for prime-time use but based on first impressions, it seems to be a very useful feature to have in the days to come.