WhatsApp has introduced a new feature that lets app users share their location in real-time with family and friends. Although it may sound a little creepy at first, the company assured that the feature was encrypted for added security and privacy. The user remains in full control over who can see their location or not.
Facebook has already launched a similar feature on Facebook Messenger.
Usage is simple – once in a chat with a friend or family members, users simply click the live location icon and can then set a time frame for how long the location share will be visible. That has two benefits: it ensures greater user privacy by making the location share disappear after a while and also indirectly allows users to specify a time frame for how long they will be in a location.
Location shares can also be aborted at any time before their expiration time.
When multiple group members share their locations, it will be visible to all members at the same time and on the same map. The latter is useful in coordinating distances between member locations and finding a common spot to meet.
Although there are initial security concerns, the addition also alleviates many worries. For example parents or spouses are now able to see where their kids or partners currently are.
WhatsApp will be rolling out the feature over the coming weeks in iOS and Android.
The app announced one billion daily active users back in July and an average 55 billion messages daily.