Meta-owned WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that will allow users to lock individual (private) chats and keep them away from snooping eyes. The company already allows users to lock the app but not individual chats.
Notable WhatsApp updates tracker WABetaInfo spotted the new feature in the version of the latest WhatsApp Beta for Android update available on the Google Play Store.
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According to the report, the upcoming new feature “Chat Lock” on the popular instant messaging platform will enable users to lock individual chats using fingerprint or passcodes and keep them locked and hidden within the chat’s contact or group info.
This new feature will also strengthen the already existing security options provided to the users by WhatsApp to boost their privacy. Additionally, it will prevent confidential and sensitive information from being leaked.
Besides the chats, it will also keep the user’s media files private. For instance, photos, videos, or audio files sent in locked chats are not saved automatically in the phone gallery, providing more added user privacy.
Further, users will be able to view these locked chats in a separate section, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to view these chats without the user’s fingerprint or passcode.
“In particular, it will be possible to lock your most private chats right within the chat’s contact or group info,” the report says.
However, there is a drawback to the “Lock Chat” feature in WhatsApp. According to WABetaInfo, if someone accesses your phone and fails to give the necessary authentication, they will be prompted to clear the history to open your device. This would mean that the user could be at risk of losing their chat history if someone forcefully tries to side-step their locked chat.
The upcoming new feature will be available for both individual and group chats. Currently, it is unknown how this chat lock feature will be used. It is still under development and should be rolled out for testing on WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS soon.