You would have used Android app locker apps or App lock apps on your iPhone, but Facebook just came with a built-in app lock for Facebook Messenger. As ironic as it sounds, Facebook has said in its official blog that they really value Privacy. Facebook is known for its privacy issues that it faced in the last decade. Every time Mark Zuckerberg stands up in the Facebook conference and says "Privacy is our primary concern", there's a couple of executives falling off their chairs laughing hard.
To make the ends meet in this privacy fiasco, Facebook is doing its best to patch up all the holes in its system. There are adding features and systems in place to ensure the privacy of the users are protected.
What is App Lock?
As the name suggests clearly, App Lock lets you add another level of security to using your Messenger App. Adding to the first level of authentication provided by the device manufacturer to unlock the device, Messenger now add another level of app lock to Messenger specifically.
The justification for this new feature is that adding this layer of security lets your friend or family borrow your phone without the risk of them accessing your chats. App Lock lets you add another layer of security to your private messages and helps prevent other people from accessing them. This optional feature gives you the confidence to know that if a friend or family member needs to borrow your phone, they won’t be able to access your chats.
Irrespective of which device you use, the phone's authentication method, whether its Touch ID, Face ID will be used by Messenger as the second layer of authentication.
How to Enable Facebook Messenger App lock
- Open Messenger and make sure you are in the Chats Screen as seen below.
- Tap on the Profile Icon at the top left corner of the screen.
- In the Profile section, Choose Privacy.
- Under the Privacy section, Choose App Lock. If you haven't enabled so far which I assume you haven't, it will ideally be turned OFF as you can see.
- Under App Lock, You will find an option Require Face ID. Be assured that this will be different for different devices. Since I have an iPhone 11, it's showing the default authentication system which is Face ID.
- Enable Require Face ID. This would scan your face and then gives you a couple of new options regarding this extra layer of privacy.
- You could choose when you want Messenger to reauthenticate your app. The four options lets you enable when you need to be reauthenticate by (face ID in my case). If you chose After I leave Messenger, every time you move from app to app, you l have to reauthenticate. And let me add one more thing, its a piece of cake if its Face Id because it doesn't require you to do anything. The face is automatically scanned when its required but in case of Touch ID, you will have to touch the fingerprint sensor every single time.
- Chose the required timeout for reauthentication and you are set to go with App Lock.
As you can see, Messenger scans my face everytime I leave the app and come back.
More Privacy Features
Facebook has promised more privacy features in the name of people asking for new features. I'm not sure how many people are sitting down and writing to facebook saying they need certain features. Apparently, people need more control over their inbox and messages.
"Coming Soon: Controls for Who Can Reach You".
This is what Facebook has said in the official blog. Similar to what Instagram messaging has, Messenger would have new features that lets you control who can actually message you.
This App Lock is available for iOS right now and is expected to reach Android users in the coming months.