WhatsApp didn't immediately respond to a request for information about any new security for the Android version of the app.
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Face ID or Touch ID have a new objective: keeping others out of WhatsApp.
The new feature appears to be an attempt from WhatsApp to make the software more secure overall. You can't lock select chats within the app yet but even an app-wide lock method is a useful feature.
Once unlocked after successfully detecting the correct biometrics - either through Face ID or Touch ID feature - the instant messaging app opens access to all your messages. Of course, if you're using WhatsApp quite often, the additional security protection added in the latest update may be bothersome, but better safe than sorry. Since iOS itself locks a native app locking ability, it is up to developers to add this feature to their apps.