The Stack Archive

WhatsApp to introduce live location sharing feature

Mon 30 Jan 2017

Instant messaging app WhatsApp is reportedly looking to introduce a feature whereby users will be able to track their friends’ location in real-time.

Leaked information, including screenshots, from the WABetaInfo Twitter account announced that the tracking update, ‘Show My Friends’, will work on WhatsApp beta version 2.17.3.28 for iOS and 2.16.399+ for Android. The source added that the feature will be disabled by default until its official launch.

A report noted: “The tracking can be kept on for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or indefinitely. This comes in handy if you are supposed to meet the gang at a certain location and time, and you want to see how far away from the destination everyone in the group is.”

Users who choose to disable the live location sharing feature will not be able to be tracked by other group members.

In December last year, WhatsApp added a feature in beta which would allow users to recall and edit sent messages. The feature is available for iOS version 2.17.1.869.

A further feature in the offing is said to be an update to the WhatsApp status. Currently a user’s status is relatively redundant – hidden and only visible if you click directly onto a contact’s profile. The new addition would mean that users can share their updated status with friends. Users will be able to choose to share it with all or select contacts. A Status tab is also in the pipeline to accompany the current tabs for Chats and Calls.

The news of these updates follows the announcement of a proposed European Commission legislation which seeks to ensure stronger data privacy for users of online messaging services, including WhatsApp, iMessage and Gmail.

Under the new strategy tech giants such as Google and Facebook will have to guarantee the confidentiality of their customers’ communications, and must get their consent before tracking them online.

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