WhatsApp introduced a new Chat Lock feature for its Android and iOS users in May 2023. However, the feature was not rolled out for its Web client. Finally, after a long wait, a new report suggests that the instant messaging platform is also working to bring the feature to WhatsApp Web. Earlier, it was reported that Web users would also get a redesigned sidebar. Now, a leaked image of the Chat Lock feature shows a dedicated icon being placed on the new sidebar.
According to a report by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is working on bringing the Chat Lock feature to allow users to lock individual chat on the web client and place it behind an additional layer of security. This is helpful in case you do not want others to know about a particular conversation or want to send sensitive information. The leaked image shows a padlock icon next to the Archived Chats and Starred Messages icon. This has led to the speculation that the locked messages will feature inside this tab, and a second layer of security can be added to access the tab.
Since there are no reports on how this feature will function, details about it are not available. However, the Android and iOS counterpart uses passcode, fingerprint, and Face ID authentication as input to unlock the chats. On the Web client, passwords or even passkeys, a passwordless authentication method that lets users log in with biometrics, can be used for this purpose.
Apart from this, WhatsApp Web is also expected to get a redesigned sidebar and a new colour scheme for the dark theme. An earlier report stated that the colour change was done to reduce eye strain in low-light environments, while the new sidebar was added to create design symmetry across all of the company’s platforms.
WhatsApp is also planning several new features for its mobile applications. For iOS, WhatsApp is reportedly working on adding support for passkeys, which was previously added to its Android counterpart. All iPhone models running on iOS 17 are expected to support third-party access to passkeys. This means iPhone XR or newer models with the iOS 17 update would be the only ones to activate passkeys on the WhatsApp app.
On Android, the Meta-owned app is working on a nearby file-sharing feature, as per a separate report. This is expected to work similarly to Android’s Quick Share (previously known as Nearby Share) feature. The WhatsApp feature appears to let users set themselves to be visible to other nearby users without revealing their phone number to non-contacts. It is also expected to be end-to-end encrypted to maintain privacy.