The latest versions of the WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS reveal an upcoming feature that will allow users to locate their friends.
Just like the Find My Friends app offered by Apple, WhatsApp will ask for your permission before making your location data available to your contacts.
This feature hasn’t been confirmed by WhatsApp yet, but it’s already baked into version 18.104.22.168 of the beta app on iOS, and version 2.16.399 on Android. It can be found within the settings menu, and it’s disabled by default.
Should you choose to enable it, you’ll have the option to share your location for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or indefinitely. Of course, these options could change when the feature rolls out to the public with a future update.
22.214.171.124 iOS | 2.16.399+ Android: Live Location feature, that tracks the live location of other group participants (DISABLED BY DEFAULT). pic.twitter.com/pYEXT1nxyR
— WABetaInfo (@WABetaInfo) January 26, 2017
It’s unclear where your location data will be displayed, or whether you’ll be able to specify which contacts or groups are able to see it (so that it isn’t available to every contact in your address book). It’s also unclear if you will be able to request another user’s location.
Like all features that appear in beta releases, there’s no guarantee this one will make it into a public version of WhatsApp. But it’s there right now, and it’s more than just a hidden string of code, so it looks pretty promising..