Facebook Messenger introduces new 'App lock' settings for better privacy controls

A new 'Privacy' settings section has been added to the app that will help users get a better Messenger experience.

Facebook announced on Wednesday that users of Messenger app will be able to enable 'app lock' settings to secure their private chats now. Hence, even if someone gets access to your phone, they would not be able to access the Messenger app.

The announcement was made by Jay Sullivan, Director of Product Management, Messenger Privacy and Safety, in a statement. He said that while the option is available for iOS users currently, an update for Android users is going to roll out in the upcoming months.


Beginning with how “privacy [was] at the heart of Messenger”; Sullivan said the app lock will be an extra layer of protection that will use your device's privacy settings – be it a fingerprint lock or face authentication. The statement maintains that Facebook will not be storing the user's touch or face IDs.

A new 'Privacy' settings section has been added in the app that will help users to “tailor” their Messenger experience better. Apart from the 'App Lock' toggle, options like 'Messaging Settings', 'Secret Conversations', Blocked People', 'Story Audience' and 'Muted Stories' will be available in this section.

In order to give users more control on who can reach and contact them, Facebook is working on new controls, said Sullivan. This way you would be able to decide "who can message or call you directly, who goes to your requests folder, and who can’t message or call you at all." This will be similar to the message controls already present on Instagram, where separate sections exist for primary, general, active messages as well as message requests.

Also, the team is exploring ways to filter message requests. Soon Messenger users might find blurred images in their message requests folder.


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