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Spotted by reputable WhatsApp tipster WABetaInfo in the latest Android beta update, WhatsApp is working on a new “Chats Lock” feature.
To give users more options to bolster their privacy, WhatsApp added the ability to lock its messaging app using a passcode, fingerprint, or Face ID. WhatsApp is building on this feature to soon allow you to lock individual chats instead of the app.
As the name reveals, this feature will help keep your personal chats “locked and hidden” from nosey people. Moreover, just like archived chats in WhatsApp, these locked chats will be moved to a separate section and accessible via the same.
This feature will be available for both personal and group chats. It will hide not only your messages but also keep your media files private. Photos, videos, or audio you send in locked chats won’t be saved in the device gallery automatically, further adding to your privacy.
Further, WABetaInfo points out a peculiar thing about the “Chat Lock” feature in WhatsApp. They state, “If someone tries to access your phone and fails to provide the necessary authentication, they will be prompted to clear the chat to open it.”
That means you might lose your chat history if someone forcefully tries to bypass your locked chat. Now, do note this feature is not live yet; not even on the beta builds. This feature is still under development and should be available to test on WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS soon.
In addition, the messaging giant is hard at work developing other privacy features. WhatsApp is planning to add features like ephemeral audio messages (playable only once), granular admin controls for groups, and more.