Facebook today announced it will add a temporary feature to its Messenger app that will allow users to share their locations with friends and family. The live location feature is rolling out globally and will be available on iOS and Android.
“People tell us that live location is super helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you're on your way to an appointment or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you're on your way home at night,” the company revealed in a blog post.
Simply tap the location icon within a message to begin sharing your location. You’ll then see a map of your current position and the option to share it live. Once a user shares the information with a friend or group, the friend will be able to watch the user's movement for up to 60 minutes. Users will also be shown an estimate of how long it would take you to meet your friends if going by car, etc.
How to use the Live Location feature:
- Inside a message thread, tap the Location button or find it in the ‘More’ menu.
- On the map, tap the blue bar to start sharing your Live Location.
- The recipients will see your exact current location on a map for 60 minutes, and an ETA by car for you to reach them.
- A small clock in the lower right hand corner of the map will also let you know how much longer you’re sharing your location for.
Users will still be able to share a static point on a map. For example, if you are meeting a friend at a restaurant or a sporting event, you can still do that separately from Live Location. Instead of choosing the share live option, tap the red pin in the upper right corner. From there, you can search for a place to share or drag and drop a pin.
Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messenger, says Facebook has been testing the feature in Mexico. It has been ready to roll out since October, but the company has been working on minimizing the impact it has on the battery life of phones.
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