Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, has unveiled a new feature to let users lock and hide conversations on its widely popular instant messaging app.
The locked chat will not be seen on the app’s regular interface, instead keeping those in a new folder that can only be opened by password or biometric, such as fingerprint or a face lock.
“Our passion is to find new ways to help keep your messages private and secure. Today, we’re announcing Chat Lock on WhatsApp, which lets you protect your most intimate conversations behind one more layer of security,” stated Meta in a blog post.
This new feature lets users feel free while their mobile is in someone else’s hand.
How to access locked folder?
As stated in the blog post, users can now lock a chat by “tapping on the name of a one-to-one or group and selecting the lock option.”
Similarly, to reveal these locked chats, users need to slowly pull down on their inbox and enter their password or biometric authentication.
The blog post further mentioned that Meta plans to introduce additional options for Chat Lock in the coming months, such as locks for companion devices and the ability to create a custom password for chats, allowing users to use a unique password separate from their phone’s password.
Meta also confirmed the global rollout of Chat Lock on WhatsApp, starting from Monday.
“New locked chats in WhatsApp make your conversations more private. They’re hidden in a password protected folder and notifications won’t show sender or message content,” stated Mark Zuckerberg, sharing a screenshot of the new feature.
The same lies?
WhatsApp is facing a mixed reaction from users regarding the new feature’s unveiling.
Reddit users have expressed mixed reactions to WhatsApp’s new privacy feature.
One Redditor voiced scepticism about the underlying motives, stating, “It’s always the same lies about protecting the children. What it is in reality is an attack on privacy, more snoopers charter type legislation which allows them to attack our rights and with basically zero oversight.
However, another user questioned the significance of hiding text conversations and commented, “I really don’t think the ability to hide text conversations from people is a groundbreaking technological development that raises ethical questions on its own.”
In response to concerns about privacy a Redditor offered an alternative solution, suggesting, “The easiest way to exchange messages privately is to open a Protonmail account and use it as a ‘dropbox’… That way nothing is actually ‘sent’ from email to email.”
Mark Zuckerberg has announced an exciting new update for @WhatsApp that will delight privacy-conscious users!
Introducing locked chats, a feature designed to take your conversations to the next level of confidentiality. 🙌✉️
With locked chats, you can now rest assured that… pic.twitter.com/LKjzeEzMoW
— Alex Ștefănescu 💳🤝 (@stefanescualexx) May 16, 2023
However, the discussion took a sarcastic turn when another user jokingly remarked, “This guy cheats.”
Lastly, another Redditor rejected the idea of restricting the majority for the sake of a minority, stating, “We must restrict the 99.9% to stop the 0.1%” is what you’ve essentially said.
These diverse reactions on Reddit reflect the varying opinions and concerns surrounding WhatsApp’s new privacy feature.