Following in the footsteps of Google Maps and Find My Friends, Facebook today announced that users will be able to track their friends and family within Facebook Messenger using a new feature it calls "Live Location."
The hour-long location sharing feature is beginning to roll out globally today, and Facebook said it should help friends coordinate with one another when making plans, as well as notifying a significant other when you're on your way home. The plan-making focus falls in line with Facebook Messenger's recent Snapchat-like addition "Messenger Day."
Facebook gave users a step-by-step guide to the process of location sharing within Messenger, which they can follow using the steps below:
- To share your Live Location in a message on iOS, tap the Location icon or tap the More icon and then select Location.
- With today's update, you'll see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your Live Location.
- If you choose to share your Live Location, the person or people you share it with will be able to see where you are on a map for the next 60 minutes.
- You'll be able to see an estimate of how long it would take to get to others' locations by car. (The ETA is seen by the person with whom the location is shared.)
- You can stop sharing your Live Location at any time; just tap Stop Sharing.
- A small clock in the lower right hand corner of the map will also let you know how much longer you’re sharing your location for.
The social media company also mentioned that today's location sharing update is "completely optional" and that users "are always in control." Facebook has been beefing up Facebook Messenger over the past few months, previously adding Reactions, Messenger Day, group video chat, and more into the split-off messaging app.