WhatsApp has begun testing a new feature that allows you to hide secret chats on the messaging app. With the latest beta version of WhatsApp for Android, you can set a secret code that will allow you to hide specific chats from the main list. Currently, WhatsApp allows you to swipe down in the chat list to open your hidden chats, but the new feature will hide them from even showing up until the secret code is entered. Meanwhile, WhatsApp is also working on developing a feature that will allow you to set a username for channels.
After updating to WhatsApp beta for Android 188.8.131.52, you will be able to set a secret code for hidden chats on the messaging app. In order to do so, open the list of locked chats and tap the three-dot menu at the top > Chat lock settings > toggle Hide locked chats and enter a memorable secret code. WhatsApp specifically asks you to choose a memorable secret code as resetting your secret code will clear all your locked chats.
Once you have hidden your locked chats, they won’t be visible in the Locked chats category that shows up when you swipe down on the home screen. Instead, you will have to enter the secret code in the search bar to open the hidden (and locked) chat list.
The feature to hide locked chats will prevent someone who is using your phone from detecting the presence of locked chats on your phone — instead of simply swiping down, they will need to enter your secret code.
If you wish to revert to the previous locking mechanism that protects chats with your fingerprint, you can toggle Hide locked chats following the steps mentioned above, after entering your secret code. The locked chats will once again be visible with a swipe down on the list of main chats.
Meanwhile, feature tracker WABetaInfo spotted a new feature in development that will allow users to set a username for channels. Once a username is set, your channel subscribers will be able to enter the username to open the channel, according to the tracker. The feature is still being worked on, so beta testers won’t be able to try the feature until it is rolled out on the beta channel at a later date.