Popular Facebook-owned chat service WhatsApp has updated its iOS app today with support for biometric authentication, allowing users to ‘lock’ the app with Face ID or Touch ID. Although the feature does not work on a per chat basis, enabling the feature does add an extra layer of security to your private WhatsApp conversations.

The feature can be toggled by updating to the latest version, 2.19.20, from the Apple App Store, then heading to “Settings” –> “Account” –> “Privacy” before switching “Screen Lock” on.

Though users will still be able to view WhatsApp notifications (should they choose to display message previews) and quick reply within iOS, the full app won’t be able to be accessed unless the standard iOS authentication process is successful.

The update log makes no mention of any other features, however, you can still read the brief description for WhatsApp 2.19.20 below,

• You can now require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock WhatsApp. Tap “Settings” > “Account” > “Privacy” and enable Screen Lock.

Previously, WhatsApp made headlines when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that merging Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram would create a safer experience. He compared the possible merging of the services to iMessage.

Is this a feature you’d like to see on the Messages app directly within iOS? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thanks, Ben!

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