Facebook is testing a new feature for Messenger that allows users to better protect their messages from prying eyes. When enabled, users will need to authenticate their identity using Face ID, Touch ID, or their passcode before they can view their inbox, even if their phone is already unlocked. (The feature relies on your device's security settings, so however you unlock your phone normally is how you'll unlock the Messenger app.) You can also set a designated period of time after leaving the app for when you'll need to re-authenticate.
Screenshots reveal that users would be able to toggle the new security feature on or off and that you can choose the timing of the feature from the following options; 'After I leave Messenger', '1 minute after leaving', '15 minutes after leaving', 1 hour after leaving'. The feature is being tested amongst "a small percentage of Messenger's iOS users' but could soon be available more widely, as well on Android. Facebook says it wants to "give people more choices and controls to protect their private messages." Users would still be able to respond to messages directly from their notifications and answer calls whilst the Messenger app is locked. Facebook also notes that no Face ID or Touch ID info is transmitted to or stored by Facebook.
If you had the choice, would you secure your Facebook Messages with an extra layer of security on iOS?