Ditched by Facebook a couple of weeks back, WhatsApp is probably on the verge of adding real-time location tracking to its app. The new feature [still being tested by a handful of WhatsApp users] was spotted last week by a Twitter user called @WABetaInfo.
However, that may not be the only addition to WhatsApp. According to Fortune, you can track the exact location of your contacts, delete or edit messages sent but unread, and reply to your contact’s statuses. You can also report issues and contact the WhatsApp support team with the shake of a phone, according to the report.
With Live Location Tracking, you will be able to continuously track a friend for a set period of time. The set time will all depend on the preference of the user as you can track one minute, two minutes or indefinitely.
Live Location Tracking is still being tested, and is found in Android (ver. 1.16.399) and iOS (ver. 184.108.40.206. WhatsApp is also adding ability to control the group of friends or people that can track your location. A safe way to say the company wants to assure users of their privacy. By default, the feature is turned off by the company and can only be turned on by choice. So it’s pretty up to you to decide if you want to turn it on. This solves a lot of problem—first, it puts you in charge of your privacy, and puts you in charge of those who should or should not track your location.
For friends trying to meet up with other friends, Live Location Tracking is not a bad feature; particularly in a crowded location or place. It could also be a perfect replacement for a premium family locator service.
IMessage has a similar feature called “Share My Location,” but with slightly different options. For instance, you can share your location with friends for an hour and throughout the entire day or leave it on indefinitely if that’s what you like.
What remains unclear to many of us is the company’s decision to add a feature its parent company ditched a while ago. Recall that Facebook ditched location tracking towards the end of last year, and it’s quite a surprise that WhatsApp is picking the same feature up few months after.
Facebook’s exact location or tracking feature lets you know the exact location of your friends. It pinpoints the location of your friends on a map. According to the change spotted towards the end of 2017, you can see your friends on a list along with an approximate distance away. For those who like tracking the movements of their friends, the last change made by the social media giant won’t be pleasing to put it mildly. However, it solves a major privacy issue some Facebook users have complained about. Forgetting to turn off your location might be your worst nightmare because it gives away information about your location to everyone out there.
Still, it doesn’t suggest that a global roll out of the feature is expected anytime soon, but the chances are on the high side too. All it takes is a successful test and positive feedbacks from users, and a global roll out won’t take long.