Location sharing isn’t necessarily as creepy as it sounds — especially not to some mobile users who have been doing that for years.
Facebook is gifting Messenger, possibly the fastest growingof the social network’s burgeoning cache of spinoff apps, with location sharing.
If this sounds familiar, it’s possible you’re also a frequent user of another app in the Facebook social conglomerate portfolio:Whatsapp.
Whatsapp, the mobile messaging app Facebook picked up in a multi-billion dollar acquisition in early 2014, has already equipped its mobile users worldwide with the option of sharing a number of different digital items within chat messages.
Aside from photos, one of the most useful features on Whatsapp has been location sharing.
Thus, after debuting peer-to-peer payment possibilities in March, it’s no surprise that Facebook would want to strengthen Messenger even further with this function.
At first glance and based on the phrasing alone, location sharing might sound like another way for Facebook to get all big brother and steal your data.
(Although no mistake about it, this kind of data is still valuable to the world’s largest social network, regardless. For fine print readers, Facebook specified in a blog post, “Messenger doesn’t get any location information from your device unless you enable location services for the app.”)
But as far as the people in your network and elsewhere are concerned, location sharing is completely optional on the user’s part.
If and when a user wants to send a honed-in map of his or her current locations, the user can tap the “More” icon or the location pin at the bottom of the screen, which should bring up some option as depicted in the screenshot above.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company also trotted out some Android-specific news earlier on Thursday with the introduction of Facebook Lite, a new, (aptly named) light-weight version of Facebook for Android designed to require less data consumption on poor networks.
Weighing in at less than a megabyte for installation and loading, Facebook Lite reflects the social network’s push into developing markets — especially in regards to its farsighted global connectivity initiative Internet.org.
Facebook Lite will be launching first in Asia starting today, followed by a gradual roll out in the coming weeks across Latin America, Africa and Europe.