WhatsApp has launched live location sharing, a new feature that will allow its 1 billion users to share their location with their contacts in real time. By introducing this feature, WhatsApp is basically aiming to let people know that their friends and family members are safe.
WhatsApp has come a long way since its launch as just an instant messaging application. The message service’s 1.3 billion active monthly users are increasingly depending on the platform to share and communicate. WhatsApp has launched another new feature that enables users to share their live location for certain period of time. According to WhatsApp’s official blog, the new update will be pushed out globally for Android and iOS users within the coming weeks. Although this isn’t something new, because various other platforms like Messenger, Google Maps, Telegram etc. are already offering it since long; but WhatsApp’s daily active user base of 1 billion, it just got a broader audience.
Now, Whatsapp already had the option to share their location but that’s a static, one-time share. The new WhatsApp live location sharing feature, on the other hand, is dynamic and allows your friends to track your current location, even when the app is not actively being used on your phone. Your location is shared at the chat level, which means you can share your live location in a one-on-one WhatsApp conversation or a group chat.
When you try to share your live location in a WhatsApp chat – by tapping the Attach icon on Android, or the Plus icon on the iPhone – you will be prompted to select the duration of time for which the share will be active. You can only choose from one of the preset options – 15 minutes, 1 hour (default), and 8 hours – and, optionally, add a comment. Oh and one can manually stop sharing live location data within a chat at any given time; or can still choose to share a one-time, static location if you want. So everything old is still available, the new feature is an add-on.
The new live location feature will open an array of uses in a daily chat scenario and also has a great potential of becoming the go-to safety feature for most WhatsApp users. On the other hand, all those lying about leaving their house on time might have to steer away from this new feature. Which one are you?