Facebook Messenger for iOS gets hefty new security measure

Facebook App Lock
Facebook App Lock (Image credit: Facebook)

What you need to know

  • Facebook is beefing up Messenger security on iOS.
  • It will now support both Touch and Face ID on iOS.
  • Support is coming to Android in the next few months.

Facebook is today announcing support for Face ID and Touch ID locking of the Messenger app in iOS.

In a news release today the company stated:

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.

The new feature is located in your Privacy settings within the Facebook Messenger app and is a simple toggle. The Privacy section is itself a new addition to Messenger helping you to better manage your privacy whilst using the app.

Facebook says that it is also working on controls to decide who can and can't message you directly on Facebook and through the Messenger app:

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.

Facebook Messenger App Lock is rolling out today on iPhone and iPad, and support will come to Android "in the next few months."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9