WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service, has launched another feature called live location sharing to keep its users engaged.
According to WhatsApp’s official blog, the new update will be pushed out as an update globally within the coming weeks.
The new feature is dynamic and updates your location in real time. It has been designed for short-term use. Users can share their location with an individual or in a group chat.
“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,” Zafir Khan, Product Manager at WhatsApp was quoted as saying to Gadgets 360.
It is not permanent and mainly shares location for preset options- 15 minutes, 1 hour and 8 hours. One can also stop their sharing location data in mid of a chat at any time.
This feature has already been launched on both Android and IOS. If you want to check whether you have this feature or not all you have to do is open up any chat, group chat or private chat tap on the attachment bottom and there will an option that will pop-up to select the time when sharing your location.
The feature will find wide traction among Whats App’s large user base. Whats-app has over 1 billion daily active users, and over 1.3 billion monthly active users.
This feature won’t affect phone battery life. There is a different technique used to converse battery life, including when you last shared your location, whether someone at the other side of the chat is actually looking at the map, and your current battery level, added Khan.
Whats app’s live sharing feature is similar to Facebook Messenger, which also provides users to share real-time location data for one-hour sessions. IMessage also lets you share location data.
Google Maps, also added real-time location sharing feature earlier this year. Its users can share their location with others for anywhere between 1 hour and ‘permanently’ whereas Maps uses links to share your location, which can be shared further to people without letting you know, raising privacy concerns.
Unlike Whatsapp messages, the location is secured and it’s end to end encrypted, and only those people can only see with whom you have chosen to share location.