Thursday, October 5, 2023

An important update for WhatsApp: “suitable for couples”


WhatsApp allows you to lock desired conversations on the phone.

Meta’s instant messaging WhatsApp has locked the function of locking chats. Chat Lock lets you lock one-on-one or group chats into their own folders, which can be opened with a password or biometric identifier such as a fingerprint.

The function should improve the privacy of messages in situations where, for example, a friend can access the user’s phone. Messages have been encrypted for a long time as they travel from sender to recipient, so that even WhatsApp usually can’t see them as per its information.

Read more: Here’s the truth about listening to the WhatsApp microphone

Locked conversations can be found at the top of the screen.

Locked conversations can be found at the top of the screen. Photo: WhatsApp

You can lock a conversation by tapping on the name of the recipient or group and choosing a new function from the menu that opens. WhatsApp also doesn’t show previews of new messages in locked conversations in its incoming notifications.

WhatsApp video and image lock chats are at the top of the chat view and can be accessed by pulling down the chat view. At this point, the application asks the user to identify himself in order to present the conversation.

In regards to the new feature’s launch video, commenters noted that “the feature is perfect for couples”. If it is used, for example, to send intimate images, the sender of the images should also take care that the original images remain on the phone easily and can be viewed by anyone who has access to the phone.

WhatsApp said the feature is currently being rolled out to users without specifying countries or timetable. No distinction was made between Android or iOS, so all phone users of the application should keep WhatsApp up to date and look for Chat Lock in the menu. However, it may take days or weeks to appear.

In the coming months, it will be possible to lock chats on other devices connected to the same user account as well. Also, in future the user can choose his own password to lock chats, which is different from the one on the phone.

We already had hints about the chat lock thanks to the WABetaInfo news service. The same site can also tell you that the Android trial version of WhatsApp already has the function of editing published messages later.

This feature is highly desired and has already been there for a long time in the competing instant messenger Telegram. This makes it possible to correct typographical and factual errors without the need to write a new edition.

Read more: Losing your WhatsApp message history is a big deal – help is available

Editing is also possible in groups and you can edit the same message as many times as you want. However, there’s a catch: Changes must be made within 15 minutes. After that, the possibility to edit the message disappears. The edited message is decorated with the word “edited” in English, so that others can see their side of the matter.

Read more: You have 15 minutes: WhatsApp’s long-awaited innovation works like this

Changing the message later could theoretically allow, for example, hate speech or otherwise offensive behavior, which can then be erased from the history. The 15-minute time limit helps combat this problem, and anyone who receives messages can also report them, and a WhatsApp moderator will see the message.

For now, message editing is only available to some trial users and messages cannot be edited through another device linked to the same account.

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