WhatsApp is reported to be testing a fingerprint lock feature on the Android version of the app to protect chats.

According to WABetaInfo, the feature was spotted in alpha mode for WhatsApp for Android (version 2.19.3). 

The feature which could take months before it is officially launched, will be available for devices running on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) before it’s rolled out to the iOS platform.

The fingerprint lock, WABetaInfo has described as a blanket lock on the entire WhatsApp app, and not for specific chats or contacts within the app.

However, users will need to register their fingerprint on their device to use the feature.

If their fingerprint scanner is broken, they could use other device credentials – such as a PIN code – to lock the app.

Users will need to authenticate their identity to open WhatsApp from the app icon or even from the notification bar.