Facebook’s WhatsApp Adds Support for Face ID/Touch ID Biometric Lock on iOS

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has added biometric authentication to its iPhone app, allowing users to lock their private conversations using Face ID or Touch ID.

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.

With the latest WhatsApp update, you can lock the WhatsApp app with Face ID or Touch ID by going to Settings > Account > Privacy > Screen Lock. Once you moved to the Screen Lock screen, the app shows the available authentication method – either Face ID or Touch ID – that you can enable to lock your WhatsApp. You can also choose whether you want the biometric authentication requirement immediately or after an interval of a minute, 15 minutes, or an hour.

Once unlocked after successfully detecting the correct biometrics — either through Face ID or Touch ID feature — the instant messaging app opens access to all your messages. This means the latest development doesn’t lock your WhatsApp chats on an individual basis.

According to the description, you can still reply to messages from notifications and you can also answer incoming calls while WhatsApp is locked.

Users will want to be careful about their notification settings if they choose to secure their app, though, specifically message previews. If you have them turned on then you’ll be able to both see and reply to any messages without having to unlock the app. You’ll also be able to respond to any WhatsApp calls without needing to unlock the app first.

In related news, last month Facebook said it plans to merge its various messaging services — Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging — so users of one platform can seamlessly contact those on the others while keeping the apps separate.