Previously known as Authentication or Screen Lock, the new feature can be enabled from the Settings menu under the Account / Privacy tabs. As per the report from WABetaInfo, this feature is available on Android Beta users, which runs on the app version - 2.19.221.
Despite its enormous user base, WhatsApp can often be slow to introduce the most hotly-anticipated new features.
This new feature will help users in adding a layer of protection to their chats. The new update was first reported by WABetaInfo citing that every WhatsApp Beta user on Android will be able to use the authentication feature without any issues, subjected if their phone has a fingerprint scanner. You can also hide notification content with this feature too. The feature will work on Android Marshmallow and above. The time span options to lock the WhatsApp includes - after a minute or 30 minutes or "Immediately" to lock the app instantly. Users can choose from these options according to their preference.
The social messaging app now allows users to choose when they have to authenticate their identity in order to use the app. However, the company went ahead with Fingerprint Lock nomenclature ensuring no confusion in terms of name.
In a bid to make the instant messaging platform more secure and safety oriented, WhatsApp has started rolling out the fingerprint lock feature from today onwards.
With the option enabled, you can still reply to messages from notifications and answer incoming WhatsApp calls.
It's not immediately clear when it will be rolled out to the stable version of the app, but given that it is now already a part of the public beta, it shouldn't be long before that happens. If you cannot gain access to the Google Play beta programme to get the version, you could alternatively sideload the APK via APK Mirror.