When it comes to messaging apps, the messages that are perhaps sent most often include “Where are you now?”, “How far away are you?”, “Are you there yet?”, and variations of these location-based queries and nudges. So it makes sense that a feature that lets users share their real-time location has been available in Apple’s Messages app on iOS. And it also makes sense that a similar feature has been built into one of the most popular messaging apps not only on iOS but also on Android, Facebook Messenger. But how does Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing work?
With whom can I share my real-time location in Messenger?
You can share your real-time location — or as Facebook likes to call it, live location — with only one person or a number of people in Messenger, depending on whether you’re sharing in a one-on-one conversation or a group chat. Sharing your live location with friends in Messenger will enable them to see where you are and how long it would take you to arrive by car — only the person or people in the conversation where you’re sharing your live location have access to that information.
You can share your Live Location with a group of friends in Messenger or just with one person — it’s up to you!
For how long can I share my real-time location in Messenger?
By default, you can share your live location for up to 60 minutes at a time (unlike with Apple’s Messages and Google Maps, which allow you to share your real-time location indefinitely). This means that Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing turns off automatically after an hour. However, you can stop sharing your location at any time.
Sharing your location in a Messenger conversation is completely optional. You are always in control.
What do I need to do before I can share my real-time location in Messenger?
For Facebook Messenger real-time location to work, you must first give Messenger “Always” location access, if you haven’t yet, by following these steps.
Open the Settings app.
Scroll to the list of apps and tap Messenger.
Note: This gives Messenger access to your location even when the app is in the background, but it’s still up to you when and with whom you want to share your location using the app.
How can I share my real-time location in Messenger?
To start sharing your real-time location, simply follow these steps.
In the Messenger app, open the conversation where you want to share your live location.
Tap the More icon (the one with the ellipsis).
Tap Share Live Location.
Note: As before, you can share a static point on a map. This lets you, say, tell your friend which restaurant you’re supposed to meet or indicate to your client where your booth is located. To share a static location, tap the red pin in the upper right corner of the map (instead of Share Live Location), search for a place to share or drag and drop the pin on the map, and then tap Send.
How can I stop sharing my real-time location in Messenger?
The person or people you’re sharing your live location with can track where you are for up to 60 minutes from the moment you tapped Share Live Location in the Messenger conversation. You can see how much longer you’re sharing your location for on the message where you sent your live location or on the map. As mentioned, Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing turns off automatically after the 60 minutes has elapsed.
But if, for example, you’ve reached your meet-up point or arrived home safely before the 60 minutes is up, or if you’ve just decided you no longer need to have your live location be known to others, you’re free to stop sharing it at any time by following these steps.
In the Messenger app, open the conversation where you’re sharing your live location.
Scroll to the message where you sent your live location and then tap it.
Or tap the More icon (the one with the ellipsis) and then tap Location.
Tap Stop Sharing on the map.
How can I use Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing?
Live Location is helpful when trying to coordinate with friends, telling people how close you are when you’re on your way to an appointment, or even sharing where you are with your roommate when you’re on your way home at night.
Say you and your friends are meeting up and you want to know one another’s exact location and ETA. Or you and a business partner are at a trade expo in a huge venue and decide to split but want to keep track of each other’s whereabouts. Or you’re heading home late at night and want to share your up-to-the-minute location information with your housemate. If you and the other person or people involved are using Facebook Messenger, then Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing should do the trick.
Just bear in mind that unless you manually turn it off beforehand, Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing is in effect for up to 60 minutes at a time.
Get the latest version of Facebook Messenger on the App Store to be able to use Facebook Messenger real-time location sharing as the feature rolls out.
Download Facebook Messenger
Read about previous updates to Facebook Messenger