"New locked chats in WhatsApp make your conversations more private," said Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, in his Instagram broadcast channel on Monday.
"They're hidden in a password-protected folder and notifications won't show sender or message content."
This means that certain conversations can be taken out of a user’s inbox and placed in its own folder that will be accessed only with a password or biometric, such as a fingerprint. Once inside the folder, when a new message gets sent, it will hide the sender’s name and contents of the chat.
“We believe this feature will be great for people who share their phones from time to time with a family member, or in moments where someone else is holding your phone at the exact moment an extra-special chat arrives,” reads a blog post from Meta.
WhatsApp also said it would be introducing more features in the future as well as adding to Chat Lock over the next few months.
How to lock a chat on WhatsApp:
1. Open the WhatsApp, tap the name of a person or group chat
2. Select the "Chat Lock" option, which should be under "Disappearing Messages"
3. Choose a passcode or fingerprint to lock the conversation
4. The conversation will then be moved into a separate "Locked Chats" folder
How to access locked chats on WhatsApp:
1. Slowly pull down on the chats inbox to reveal a "Locked Chats" folder
2. Enter the passcode or fingerprint to unlock
3. Locked chats will then appear as normal