WhatsApp is getting a new “Chat Lock” feature meant to make it easier to keep conversations private. The new locked chats will live in a folder protected by password or biometrics, and notifications from the conversations will not show the sender or the actual content of the message. If you’re familiar with Apple’s hidden photos feature for iCloud, Chat Lock looks like it works similarly.
You can get an idea of how it looks in this video from WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is well-known for its end-to-end encrypted messages, but that doesn’t stop someone who already has your unlocked WhatsApp-enabled phone from potentially seeing a message with their eyes. Chat Lock adds an extra layer of protection that can be useful if you often share your unlocked phone with someone. (You can also lock WhatsApp entirely behind biometric authentication, if you prefer.)
Chat Lock is working now, and more upgrades are expected in the future. “Over the next few months we’ll be adding more options for Chat Lock, including locking shared devices, creating a custom password for your chats so you can use a unique password that’s different on your phone,” Meta wrote in a blog post.