WhatsApp announced today that you’ll be able to share your location in real time with friends on your contact list, a popular feature borrowed from its parent company Facebook. The feature, called Live Location, should be available starting today and is coming to both the iOS and Android versions of WhatsApp. Facebook officially rolled out temporary location sharing in Messenger back in May, having experimented with the idea in different formats within Messenger and the main Facebook app for years.
To use Live Location, you open a chat with a person or group. Under “Location” in the attach button, tap “Share Live Location.” You can set a timer for how long you want to share your location, and everyone you’ve chosen to send your location to can see where you are on a map in real time. The feature also works if multiple people share locations simultaneously, as people’s icons will then appear on the same map.
WhatsApp promises that, like all of its other messaging functions, location sharing will be end-to-end encrypted. The timer also appears to serve a security function. Users can choose to stop sharing their locations whenever, or let the Live Location timer expire.