WhatsApp is currently the second-largest social networking app in the world right after Facebook. With over a billion users all over the world, the app has revolutionized the art of mobile communication. It started out as a basic private messaging app where people could not only share messages but also pictures and videos.
So when WhatsApp integrated the use of status stories in the app as previously used by Instagram and Snapchat, people were a little bit surprised. Though the idea was warmly welcomed, people thought they had seen it all. Mark Zuckerberg was definitely not done. The new WhatsApp live location feature was launched sometime last week. It will allow people to share their real-time location with their WhatsApp contacts.
Here is how it works. Once you open a chat with another person, press the attach button then press on the location icon. You will notice the new option of ‘share live location’. Previously, the location icon only allowed you to share a static location on the map. This new upgrade allows your friends to keep up with your location as you move. The option allows you to control who you share your location with and for how long. It can span from as short as fifteen minutes to an hour or as long as 8 hours.
Location tracking has been of great significance in our current times. It has allowed us to track our shipments and packages, plane movements and even stolen gadgets. This new feature will be an added advantage to that evolution. Speaking during a conference, Sohini Bhattacharya, CEO of Breakthrough, a non-profit organization said ‘The Live Location feature in WhatsApp makes women feel confident about sharing their real-time location or a journey with someone close so that it can be tracked for a purpose and privately.’
You know how you go on a date and you feel uneasy about the guy you are going out with, one can simply turn on their live location and allow their friends to monitor their movements until the date is over. Ranjana Kumari from the Center for Social Research said ‘For women in dangerous situations, it may be a helpful tool for police and family members.’ The feature will also prove helpful in crisis and disaster situations. It will promote the speed and efficiency of providing help and relief to those in need.
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However, on the other hand, this new feature has joined the fast-rising encroachment of digital software in the invasion of privacy. Tracking chips and phone applications coupled with the misguided use of social media platforms have opened up people to an unsafe environment. This means you can easily get tracked by people who do not mean well. I do not know about you, but the idea that someone can pinpoint my location at will is a little bit scary.
Even though the live location sharing is optional, there are constantly new and evolving ways to hack into live location tracking software. This is simply saying that if someone wanted to find out where you were, they could. So as we embrace the new digital upgrades, we should ensure that we use them with caution. Seeing as some of these apps are used by young children, parents should be very careful and educate their children on how to use these applications safely. Here are a few tips on how to how to protect your children online.
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Featured image via www.bgr.in