WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app with billions of users globally, has introduced very reliable and efficient ‘Live Location’ feature. The feature, previously available but now enhanced, has an end-to-end encrypted feature that lets people control who they share their location with and for how long.
With this new feature users can choose to stop sharing at any time or let the Live Location timer simply expire. The feature allows people to share location in real-time with family or friends.
“The Live Location feature in WhatsApp makes women feel confident about sharing their real-time location or a journey with someone close, so that it can be tracked for a purpose and privately,” said Sohini Bhattacharya, CEO of Breakthrough, a non-profit organisation, in a statement on Wednesday. He also added that the way the system works in brevity–Open a chat with the person or group you want to share with. Under “Location” in the attach button, there’s a new option to “Share Live Location”.
You can time the period you wish to share by choosing how long you want to share and tap send. Each person in the chat will be able to see your real-time location on a map. And if it’s in the case of a group chat and more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map. The good news is that Live Location is available on both Android and iPhone and will be rolling out in the app in the coming weeks.
Among the numerous benefits of this feature it can help track missing persons and phones given the last time the location was used and also, the feature will prove to be extremely useful during disasters and crisis situations, as help and relief can be provided more effectively and quickly. “For women, in unsafe and dangerous situations, it may be a helpful tool for police officials and families, as real-time locations can be shared easily in WhatsApp,” said a staff from Centre for Social Research.