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Science
18 Oct 2017

WhatsApp now lets you share "Live location" with friends

WhatsApp's new real-time location sharing feature

Facebook-owned messaging service, WhatsApp, is rolling out a new "Live Location" sharing feature to its Android and iOS users today.

Users can choose to show their "live location" to a contact/group allowing them to track their movement/location in real-time for a preset duration of 15 minutes/1 hour/8 hours.

It is different from the existing "share location" option, which only shows static locations.

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In context

WhatsApp's new real-time location sharing feature
Scenarios where the new feature could be useful

Details

Scenarios where the new feature could be useful

Zafir Khan, WhatsApp's Product Manager, said they aim to solve the "rendezvous problem" with "live location" feature they have been developing for a few months.

Khan said it is helpful "when you are meeting up with a group, when you want to share where you are when you are commuting, or when you want to let your loved ones know that you are safe."

Short-term, limited duration feature

Zafir Khan stated: "Live location is a way to share your location in a chat and the participants in that chat will then be able to see your real-time location as it updates on a map. (It's) short-term in nature, it's limited in duration."

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Live Location

How to use the new location sharing feature?

The feature, initially rolled out to Android and iOS users, would be globally available within the next few days.

Such users can check if an update for WhatsApp is available on their device by heading on to their respective app stores.

After updating, users can share "live location" with a contact or group by accessing the option under "attachment" section on the chat.

Can share location in one-on-one conversation or group chat

Recipients

Can share location in one-on-one conversation or group chat

Once a user shares the live location, the recipient (individual/group) would be able to see a card-style notification with an option to "view the location".

The sender would see a button to "Stop Sharing" the location anytime before the pre-defined period ends.

It is essential to understand that sharing live location with a group enables every member in it to track a user's movement.

Location sharing is end-to-end encrypted

Zafir Khan said the live location sharing would be end-to-end encrypted just like the messages, images, and videos shared on WhatsApp. He added, "We understand that location is an intimate piece of information, so the option to 'stop sharing' is prominently displayed."

Details

Similar features launched by other apps

Before WhatsApp, several internet companies and mobile apps have introduced social location sharing features.

Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Apple's iMessage also allow users to share live locations in real-time.

In Jun'17, Snapchat rolled out "Snap Map" location sharing feature.

Also, ride-hailing app Uber allows the customers to share their "trip status" with a contact letting them trace the car's live movement.

Ask NewsBytes
User Image

How can someone know your live location?

Asked on 30-04-2018 by Narriman Zabar

Answered by NewsBytes

After updating WhatsApp, users can share "live location" with a contact or group by accessing the option under "attachment" section on the chat. Users can choose to show their "live location" to a contact/group allowing them to track their movement/location in real-time for a preset duration of 15 minutes/1 hour/8 hours.

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Can someone see my location without my knowledge?

Asked on 30-04-2018 by Narriman Zabar

Answered by NewsBytes

People can only track your location on WhatsApp if you share your 'Live Location' with them. Sharing live location with a group enables every member in it to track a user's movement. If you want to stop sharing your location prior to the pre-defined period, then you can use the "Stop Sharing" button.

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