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Facebook Messenger – Always Active Location Sharing To Go

Personally, I have been into social media networking and particularly Facebook.

Being the largest social networking platform, Facebook boasts of it ingenuity in App development as a major contributor to its success.

Times without number, we have always spent hours on end chatting and sharing with friends, unaware of Facebook unwittingly sharing our locations.

Well, this is definitely creepy; right?

The always-on- Facebook Messenger location sharing button has been telling your friends where you are whenever you are chatting with them.

On this premise, you can imagine how many times you have lied about your whereabouts on Facebook, when the location feature has always delivered the right information on the other side.

This is probably shocking, especially if matters of integrity and Facebook user privacy policies are to be taken into serious consideration.

However, thanks to a newly introduced location update on the Messenger that will henceforth share your location on request.

If affected, the default Messenger location sharing functionality that has always let people know your whereabouts during a chat without your permission will be something of the past.

Stan Chudnovsky’s announcement

During the latest briefing, Stan Chudnovsky’s who is Facebook’s Product Management head, has come out to confirm improvements on Messenger App which puts off your location unless you permit it to share. This means, now you will be able to chat with friends without being oblivious of the fact your location is being shared.

This announcement follows a blog post on Medium by Iran Ahanna from EuroVPS in which she revealed that, over the years, the world’s largest social media network has been tracking user subtly. Aran also further divulged details of his new Google extension tool called ‘Marauders Map’ which uses Facebook’s location sharing feature to track and pin-point the location of the users on a map.

No more an always-on feature

Further, according to Stan Chudnovsky, the new way of sharing one’s location alongside chat which is to replace the old features will enable users to explicitly share their whereabouts as a map or better still send your location as an independent separate message.

He says, to send your location, you navigate to the bottom of your Messenger Screen display and tap on the location pin. This brings up more options from which you can, for example, tell your friends where you want to meet up with them by sending a map of the place. Also, with the new development on Messenger, you can let your friends know where you are, which means, if you were headed for work, they will know how far away you are from the workplace.

Features of the new location sharing Extension on Facebook Messenger

There are people who always want to remain anonymous while chatting with friends using Facebook Messenger, therefore, the revelations that the old Messenger unwittingly shared one’s location is a big shocker as much as it is annoying. As pointed earlier, the new development on Messenger App is sure to bring cheer on the faces of users worried about this privacy.

Let’s for a second review the features that this new Facebook update promises:

According to Stan Chudnovsky, the new Messenger features will do away with the marauders map like feature which shared you location unwittingly, users will henceforth be able to use it as an explicit functionality. No more hidden and default functionalities.

Also, the new developments on Facebook messenger will enable users to choose a way in which they want to share their location. They can do this either by sending a map or the place where they are as a different message.

By tapping on the more button icon on Messenger App User Interface, it will now display an option which prompts you to share your location with the person with whom you are chatting. The good news is that this will only be shared if you tap send.

How to switch off location sharing feature

The old-look Messenger always secretly delivered a message with your location whenever you are chatting with friends, but with the new improvements, you can choose to switch it off so that it doesn’t track your whereabouts.

For those using Android devices, if you want to turn off the location sharing feature, you will go to settings then click on location sharing and switch it off. In Apple devices, the location sharing functionality can be turned off by going to settings then clicking on privacy which brings up location and then services.

The benefits of sharing location

Well, on the flip side, sharing your location on Facebook Messenger has its benefits.

At the very least, it enables your friends to track your whereabouts in which case if you were to meet up, they can easily find you using the location map you send to them on chat. Also, if used wisely it’s possible to track friends who are at leisure to hang out.

Also, with the newly improved Messenger, lying about your location is a forgone case. There is no way you can lie about your location because the new-look App perfectly tracks your location and as long as you choose to send it as a map message.

Many users will be with me on this benefit – location tracking feature, on certain occasions can really help the user, especially in life or death situations.

Was this change prompted by Marauders Map extension?

Agreeably, the revelations on how Marauder’s Map shares Facebook users’ location subtly by plotting it on a map must have come as a bombshell to those who value their privacy on social media and consequently played a pivotal role in Facebook’s decision to make improvement on Messenger location sharing capabilities.

But, Marauder’s Map is not the sole reason for this update. Facebook has been working on it for the past few months, and its main objective to bring commerce into its messenger app.

Facebook inspired by Asia Apps

Has Asia’s Chat Apps played a role in Facebook’s latest move to update location features in Messenger App?

Well, China is known for making inroads into the development of chat Apps such as WeChat. Asia’s monolithic Apps for chatting with which users are able to book a taxi and do more, has surely inspired Facebook’s latest move.

As noted by Chudnovsky, Facebook wants to change people’s views on location.

Their goal: to dish out awe-inspiring experiences in the future.