About a month after Facebook removed location sharing from its Messenger app, it turns out that WhatsApp, another popular messaging app that it owns, is testing similar features in a beta version.
This new feature, called “Live Location Tracking,” is currently found in version 188.8.131.52 for iOS and 2.16.399 for Android, likely to be kept in future updates. IT allows a user to turn on live location tracking for a period of time they select, allowing 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute, and “Enabled indefinitely” options.
The way this new feature has been implemented also might alleviate some of the privacy concerns that led Facebook to shut down the feature in Messenger. Location tracking in this case is turned off automatically, and the time frames allowed show an understanding for the two main wholesome uses of the feature: meeting up with a friend, or making sure your child is safe.
WhatsApp also stated that it will fight any government request to create a backdoor such as that which sparked the Apple vs. FBI debate last year.