Those who find the Facebook Messenger's continuously activated location sharing function somewhat confusing to use and a bit annoying will be delighted to hear the news that the social media giant is officially removing the feature. Instead, Facebook is placing a feature that allows users to share their location one time only. With this new feature, the company is laying the groundwork for new and better location features.
According to Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Facebook Messenger, the social media platform has grand plans for future GPS features, which could also serve as a launching pad for other innovative functionalities that will be incorporated in Facebook in the near future.
Location features are already handy in social media as they are. But when expanded beyond their default purpose, they could exponentially become more useful to mobile users everywhere. For instance, when used properly, location features can be integrated with bookings for transportation services, or bookings for hotel or restaurant reservations. Sure, some apps are already doing this right now, but with Facebook's incredible team of developers and technicians, the application of this technology can be explored even further.
As for the overhauled location sharing feature in Messenger, Facebook is already deploying the new design for Android as well as iOS users. The blue arrow is gone, so is the constantly on location sharing functionality. What Facebook has put in lieu of that is a pin button beside those for sending pics, stickers, or cash, or an option in More (that three-dot graphic). When users tap that, a map will be displayed with the user's current location pinned, which the user can then share to Facebook contacts with a single tap. This way, users can easily inform others of their present coordinates.
When the map is dragged, the location of the pin can be changed. This should be useful when looking for a meeting place. Also, users can make use of suggestion of Facebook Places within the vicinity (like local interesting establishments), or look for one by setting the pin in a specific spot on the map.
The pick-a-meetup-spot functionality is intriguing. Facebook could be looking to encourage more users to take advantage of its Nearby Friends feature, which lets people share their location to friends, especially those who are within the same general area as the user.
No doubt there are still lots of areas in Messenger that Facebook can explore enhancements for. Fine tuning its location sharing functionality is a good start. The social media giant has always been aiming for constantly improving the overall Facebook experience, and streamlining its already existing features is definitely a sound plan.
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