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WhatsApp launches new Live Location feature for Android, iOS users; here's how to use it

India Today logo India Today 18-10-2017

WhatsApp has come a long way since its launch as just an instant messaging application. The message service's 1.3 billion active monthly users are increasingly depending on the platform to share and communicate. WhatsApp has launched another new feature that enables users to share their live location for certain period of time.

WhatsApp launches new Live Location feature for Android, iOS users; here's how to use it © Provided by India Today WhatsApp launches new Live Location feature for Android, iOS users; here's how to use it

According to WhatsApp's official blog, the new update will be pushed out as an update globally for Android and iOS users within the coming weeks. Despite being available on various other platforms like Messenger, Google Maps, Telegram etc. the feature might actually gain traction with a huge amount of users.

How to use the new feature?

The feature can have a wide range of use. According to the company's official blog, it can be used for "meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you're safe, or sharing your commute." When a users willingly shares their live location, they will get an option to chose between various time frames for the live tracking to last.

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For instance, if a person needs to meet-up at an X cafe, they can share their location with the person they're meeting for a duration of 15 minutes or one hour eradicating the need to send constant updates. A user can also choose a longer duration which is eight hours. So far, the company has limited the time to 8-hours and has refuted to any plans of extending this duration.

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The new feature can be accessed by tapping on the paperclip icon next to the chat box. Since the location can be shared in the form of chat, it can be sent to WhatsApp groups as well as individual chats. To keep a track of how many people or groups are getting the live location updates, one can check in the Account Privacy settings. In terms of WhatsApp groups, if various participants have shared their live location, all locations will be visible on a single map.

Once the location is shared, the users who receive it will get a chat showing the initial location as a thumbnail followed by the time till when the live location can be accessed. The sender can stop sharing their live location at any given instance within the chat or in the application's Account Privacy settings. According to WhatsApp, the feature is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring the privacy of the location shared.

The new live location feature will open an array of uses in a daily chat scenario and also has a great potential of becoming the go-to safety feature for most WhatsApp users. On the other hand, all those lying about leaving their house on time might have to steer away from this new feature.  

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