It appears WhatsApp is working on a new feature – ‘Live Location Tracking’, which would allow users track their friends whereabouts in real time.
The Live Location Tracking is among a number of interesting new features recently spotted in the WhatsApp beta for iOS (version 18.104.22.168) and Android (version 2.16.399).
Interestingly, the Live Location feature will display your real-time location to those you chat to in groups using WhatsApp. With the feature, users will be able to make their current location visible to members of a group chat, allowing them to find each other more easily during meet-ups.
Users will have the option to enable Live Location Tracking for a limited period of time, with one, two and five minute options available.
In other words, the live streaming feature can also be disabled so that your group members can’t learn where you are at any given moment. The “Live Location Tracking” is disabled by default, which means that WhatsApp needs to activate it when it is ready to be launched. WhatsApp users will need to manually opt in through the app’s Settings menu.
The messaging app already allows users to share a specific location with friends, but real-time tracking would represent an enormous step up. However, it is still unclear when exactly the features will graduate from the beta build.
Naturally, a feature like this has the potential to raise concerns with regards to privacy. It will be interesting to see all the lame excuses that could be exposed with this new feature.
This isn’t the only interesting feature that’s been spotted in the app’s Android beta. There are also reports that we could soon see the ability to edit messages we’ve sent, as well as recall messages you wish you hadn’t sent at all.
It would only be possible to edit or recall messages that haven’t been read, though, so you’ll still have to live with those mid-conversation regrets – at least until WhatsApp develops a memory-wiping feature.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp updated their app which enhanced user capabilities around GIFs and sending media items in bulk.
Before now, users could only upload GIFs that were available on their phone’s storage, but now they can search for them directly from the app’s interface and can select up to 30 media items at once to share with their contacts.
The GIF search is embedded in the emoji option on the bottom left of the chat box. Users will be able to find GIFs and send them directly in chats.
The increase in the number of media files that one can share is a relief to many users as it was hugely annoying to go back to the media files in order to send the remaining files after the first batch was sent.
Meanwhile, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp which is one of the most popular web-based messaging services worldwide, is being sued by a German consumer group in a Berlin court over clauses that allow the messaging service to collect and transfer user data between Facebook and the platform.
The suit is challenging the privacy terms WhatsApp changed in August, which allow for transferring some data to Facebook’s social network. The consumer group argues that each consumer must be able to decide on his own which personal data is revealed and how it is used.