Facebook-owned WhatsApp has now introduced a new Live Location feature to its messaging service, one that has been in beta for quite a while. The feature was recently introduced by competitor Telegram, and lets users share their location in real-time with family or friends.
In short, it's now going to get a lot easier to track your loved ones, whether they are commuting, or share your location with friends when you are heading to a meetup, all thanks to WhatsApp's Live Location feature.
Apart from being simple to use, the new feature is secure as well. WhatsApp claims to have end-to-end encryption with Live Location and even lets users control, who they share their location with and for how long they want to do so.
How does it work? In a chat window, click on the attachment icon (represented by a paper clip) and tap on 'Location' like you usually do. Unlike before, you will now see a new option to 'Share Live Location'.
Upon tapping on 'Share Live Location' the user then gets a pop up as for how many minutes or hours they would like to share their Live Location for. Then simply tap the Send button like you usually do.
Once sent to a individual chat or a group chat, you will now see a rich preview appear in the chat area with you display picture showing up in a bubble on the map along with the time limit as to when the Live Location will expire. Tapping on the thumbnail will open a Live Location page, revealing your Live Location to your friend.
At the bottom of that rich preview, will also be a Stop Sharing button, in case users change their mind and want to stop sharing urgently, before the set expiry time.
WhatsApp says that if more than one person shares their Live Location in a group chat, all locations will be visible on the same map.
Live Location feature is a server side update, so expect the feature to roll out gradually to users. The feature will be added to both Android devices and Apple iPhones in the coming weeks.
Telegram had recently, updated it app with a similar feature just a week ago. It also introduced a redesigned in-app audio player, and a new translation platform for Telegram apps.