WhatsApp has revealed a new “Chat Lock” feature that will allow users to hide personal conversations in a folder that’s sealed with a password or biometric authentication. While the company said it's been designed to add “one more layer of security” to its instant messaging platform, many have dubbed the update as a “feature for cheaters” that could be used for nefarious means.
Announcing the update on May 15, WhatsApp said in a statement: "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."
“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, slowly pull down on your inbox and enter your phone password or biometric,” the Meta-owned company added.
There’s no word on when it will become available for everyone, but WhatsApp said they would be rolling it out in the “next few months.”
They also put a quick guide on how to use the new feature on their FAQ page.
However, the update did attract some light-hearted skepticism. When the feature was announced by Meta chief Mark Zuckerburg on his personal Facebook page, commenters had one thing on their mind: secret flings and extramarital affairs.
“Awesome, its great and useful for cheaters,” one person commented.
“Cheating has been upgraded,” another added.
“Very amazing. Thanks for keeping our relationships safe,” someone joked.
In more recent news, WhatsApp revealed on May 22 that they will also be adding an edit feature to their platform. This will allow users to edit their messages for up to fifteen minutes following when they were first sent, after which the message will display an “edited” tag, making others in conversation aware of the correction without showing the edit history.
What could possibly go wrong, eh?