The new feature, which has been in anticipation since October previous year - when the new authentication addition was reported for the first time, works similarly to how you can lock Outlook or Signal on your iPhone.
That's according to a new report from 9to5Mac, which explains that the newest version of the messaging app lets you add a layer of biometric security using Apple's Face ID (if you have any iPhone X model) or Touch ID, which was introduced with 2013.
Face ID or Touch ID have a new goal: keeping others out of WhatsApp. Once Screen Lock is enabled, every time you open WhatsApp, the app will require Face ID or Touch ID to unlock, otherwise, you won't be able to use. Currently, there are four options available for the user including the app locking "immediately", "after 1 minute", "after 15 minutes", and "after 1 hour". This new update will allow you to protect your private messages from others.
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If the Touch ID or Face ID fails in authenticating the user, it will ask them to input the passcode for their app to gain access. The feature is yet to roll out for Android users.
iPhone users can still preview the messages from WhatsApp notifications and even quick reply but full functionalities will be available after the authentication.