WhatsApp announced today that it’s introducing a new “Chat Lock” feature that is designed give users an additional layer of security for their most intimate conversations. As its name suggests, the feature lets you lock a chat, which 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.
Once you lock a chat, the app will also automatically hide the contents of that chat in notifications. 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, you have to slowly pull down on your inbox and enter your phone password or biometric.
“We think this feature will be great for people who have reason to share their phones from time to time with a family member or those moments where someone else is holding your phone at the exact moment an extra special chat arrives,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The Meta-owned company says it plans to add 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.
Although WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, that doesn’t apply when someone has unlocked access to your phone and can see your messages. The new feature provides an extra layer of security in these instances.
The new feature comes a few weeks after WhatsApp added a few new updates around polls and sharing on its platform. As part of these updates, you now have the option to create single-vote polls, which means you can run a poll where people are only allowed to vote once. As for sharing, you can now forward media with captions.