Messenger Introduces App Lock and New Privacy Settings

By Jay Sullivan, Messenger Director of Product Management, Privacy and Safety


Messenger is announcing new privacy and security features that give you more control.


Privacy is at the heart of Messenger – where you can be yourself with the people who matter most to you, whether that’s through a message, video chat, call or a Messenger Room.

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. 


App Lock uses your device’s privacy settings like fingerprint or face authentication to unlock the Messenger app, and your touch or face ID is not transmitted to or stored by Facebook. The feature is available today on iPhone and iPad and will come to Android in the next few months.

You can find this feature in the new Privacy settings section. The Privacy section makes it easy to access settings and features like the audience for your stories, muted stories and blocked people. App Lock and the Privacy section let you tailor your experience and choose settings that work best for you. We’re always working to give you more control over your privacy, so as we introduce more privacy features, you’ll have this centralized place to find them. 


People tell us that they want more controls over their inbox and calls. That’s why we’re working on new controls so you can 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 on Instagram, and we’ll share more details when we start testing these controls.

We’re also exploring more ways to protect your privacy and safety when someone you don’t know sends you a message. We’ll be testing a feature similar to what exists on Instagram and WhatsApp that blurs images in your message requests folder. This way, you have the choice to view an image from someone you may not know before replying to the message or blocking or reporting the account.