Facebook Inc has added a new feature to its Messenger app on Monday that will allow users to share their locations continuously for up to an hour. The move seems to be a direct reaction to tools offered by Apple in its Messenger app and Google in its Maps app.
The company has figured out that the phrases “How far away are you?” and its other variations are one of the most used phrases on Messenger as people converse with friends and family.
“It happens to be what people are saying, what they are interested in the most”, said Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messenger.
Users will get the option of sharing their location information, but it can also be tracked in real time. This means that after a user shares their location information with a friend, the friend can keep a track of the user’s movement for up to 60 minutes.
The Messenger app was once a part of the core Facebook smartphone app, but then the company made it into a separate app back in 2014 and has been investing to be bring frequent changes and additions to the platform. The mission is to build a service which is different from the massive social network, and can compete with the likes of Snapchat.
Google Maps has also added a similar live feature. This was an attempt to boost engagement on a product that is of grave importance to the company, however, it was viewed as a security risk by many.
Facebook says that its live location sharing update is being made available globally. To use the live location feature, you can tap the location icon inside the app.