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Facebook mimics WhatsApp with location sharing feature on its Messenger


Facebook Messenger has rolled out a new feature that now allows users to send locations on a map from within the app, on both Android and iOS. With this new feature, Facebook is making it easier to share locations with friends and family, which allows users to share a location directly via the chat window. This new feature will be replacing the old location feature, says Facebook.

“With this update, you have full control over when and how you share your location information. You only send a location when you tap on the location pin and then choose to send it as a separate message. You can also share a location—like a meeting spot—even if you’re not there,” said Facebook.

From now on, users who update their Messenger will come across a small location pin symbol on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Clicking on it pops up a window that allows users to send their current location.

Notably, the announcement comes weeks after a Harvard Intern at Facebook built a Chrome extension called Marauder’s Map that automatically logs in location data from some Messenger users. Though, Facebook says this new feature has been in development for quite some time now.

Facebook also notes that this new feature does not bring about any change in terms of permissions about how the company receives location information, implying it’ll not share your location without unless a user allows it.

“As always, Messenger doesn’t get any location information from your device unless you enable location services for the app. Messenger does not get location information from your device in the background—only each time you select a location and tap Send when you use the Messenger app. We are not requesting any new permissions for your information,” said Facebook in a blog post.

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The new move could be a ploy to attract more users to its Messenger platform. Facebook apparently seems to have borrowed this feature from WhatsApp, which already offers a plethora of options to its users within chat messages itself.

Hence, it’s no surprise that Facebook wants to add this feature to its Messenger to expand its user base.

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