Mark Zuckerberg on Monday announced a new WhatsApp feature called Chat Lock to safeguard intimate chats.

The feature will let users protect their most intimate conversations with a password and secures them in a separate folder.

“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,” said Zuckerberg.

Locking a chat 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.

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“It also automatically hides the contents of that chat in notifications, too,” said the company.

The feature will be important for people who have reason to share their phones from time to time with a family member or those moments when someone else is holding their 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,” said WhatsApp.

Over the next few months, the company will 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”.

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