Rolling out at the end of the month, Facebook will be introducing a live location sharing feature for users of WhatsApp, similar to Snap Map by Snap Inc.
For a limited amount of time, users of WhatsApp will be able to share their location on a per chat basis and have the ability to stop sharing at any point. It even allows multiple people in a single chat group to see each other's proximity in real time.
In a blog post, the value proposition was defined as, "whether you're meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you're safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know where you are. This end-to-end encrypted feature lets you control who you share with and for how long. You can choose to stop sharing at any time or let the Live Location timer simply expire."
A similar feature already exists with an integration with Google Maps, whereby a user of WhatsApp can tap the attach icon which brings up a menu and among the options a location drop icon is prominent. The differentiation in this announcement appears to be a map feature that is independent of Google Maps, opening room for WhatsApp to monetize on the location data even further.
Marketers charged with footfall oriented businesses can use Facebook's location-based marketing ads to target users near its outlets for promotions, deals, and even group activities such as scavenger hunts.
Live Location is available on both Android and iPhone and will be rolling out by the end of October.