Facebook Messenger continues its evolution from a simple messaging app into a comprehensive social tool with the launch of Live Location, a feature that allows users to share their real-time location to other users.
The feature has now been rolled out globally to the iOS and Android versions of Facebook Messenger, just days after Google announced that a similar feature will soon be added to Google Maps.
Facebook Messenger Rolls Out Live Location Feature
The new Facebook Messenger feature was announced through a Facebook Newsroom post, which claims that Live Location has been found to be a useful tool for a variety of situations.
Among the applications of the Live Location feature include coordinating with friends on meet-ups, letting other people know how far or near a user is from a certain location or sharing with a friend or family member a user's location when on their way home at night.
In an interview, Messenger head of product Stan Chudnovsky said that one of the most used phrases on the communication app is "How far away are you?" With the launch of Live Location on Facebook Messenger, users will be able to better answer that question.
How To Use Live Location On Facebook Messenger
For users to be able to share their real-time location, they will need to tap on the Location icon or tap on the More icon and then select the Location option. A map will then be displayed that shows the user's current location.
Users will then simply have to tap on the blue bar to share their real-time location to their friends or family members. Users can share their location to just one contact or to several contacts at once. In addition, once Live Location is activated, the contacts of the users who were allowed access to the information will only be able to do so for 60 minutes.
A clock in the lower right-hand corner of the Facebook Messenger app will display the time remaining for their shared location. Users, however, have the option to stop sharing their real-time location at any time through the Stop Sharing button.
Users who received the real-time location of other users will also be able to see an estimated time on how long it would take for their friend or family member to arrive at their location by car.
Facebook Messenger also allows users to share static locations on a map to other users, which can be used to identify a meet-up location, for example. To do so, users will simply have to tap on the location pin on the map or tap on the More icon and select the Share Live Location option and then tap the red pin located in the upper right corner. Users can then search for the location that they want to share or drag and drop the pin on the map and then hit Send.
Battery life could become an issue when using the feature, as utilizing the GPS function of smartphones drains battery quickly. However, Head of Messenger David Marcus said that the team put a lot of effort into minimizing the battery consumption of the Live Location feature.