New Delhi: WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app owned by Meta, is testing a new feature that will allow users to hide their locked chats from the chat list and access them only with a secret code. The feature, which was first spotted by WABetaInfo last month, is now rolling out to some beta testers on Android devices.
Locked chats are a feature that WhatsApp introduced earlier this year, which lets users protect their sensitive conversations with a fingerprint, face ID, or password. Users can enable this feature by going to Settings > Privacy > Locked Chats and selecting the chats they want to lock. Once locked, the chats will appear in a separate section in the chat list, and users will need to authenticate themselves to open them.
However, some users may not want to reveal which chats they have locked, as this could raise curiosity or suspicion from others who might have access to their phones. To address this issue, WhatsApp is adding a secret code option for locked chats, which will remove the entry point to the locked chats section from the chat list. Instead, users will have to enter a secret code in the search bar within the Chats tab to access their locked chats.
According to WABetaInfo, the secret code feature is available in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android version 18.104.22.168, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Users who have this feature will see a new settings section within the locked chats section, where they can enable or disable the secret code option and set or change their secret code. The secret code can be a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols, and it can be up to 16 characters long.
The secret code feature is designed to enhance the privacy and security of WhatsApp users, as it will make it harder for anyone to access their locked chats without their permission. Even if someone manages to unlock their phone, they will not be able to see which chats are locked or open them without knowing the secret code. WABetaInfo said that the secret code feature “ensures that the locked chats list is only visible when the correct code is entered into the search bar”.
The secret code feature is currently rolling out to only some beta testers, and it is not clear when it will be available for all users. WhatsApp usually tests new features with a limited number of beta testers before releasing them to the public, to ensure that they work properly and do not have any bugs or issues. Users who want to try out new features before they are officially released can join the WhatsApp beta program, but they should be aware that beta versions may be unstable or have errors.