WhatsApp launched a new location-sharing feature on Wednesday, that will help women and kids connect with their families and friends as they travel. The new feature called “Live Location” and is available for both Android and iOS smartphones.

The feature that enables users to share location in real-time with family or friends. The end-to-end encrypted feature lets people control who they share with and for how long. You can choose to stop sharing at any time or let the Live Location timer simply expire.

“The Live Location feature in WhatsApp makes women feel confident about sharing their real-time location or a journey with someone close so that it can be tracked for a purpose and privately,” said Sohini Bhattacharya, CEO of Breakthrough, a non-profit organization, in a statement on Wednesday.

The company will be releasing the feature in the app in the coming weeks.

The feature is expected to be extremely useful during disasters and crisis situations, as help and relief can be provided more effectively and rapidly.

“For women, in unsafe and dangerous situations, it may be a helpful tool for police officials and families, as real-time locations can be shared easily in WhatsApp,” said Ranjana Kumari from Centre for Social Research.

How to use WhatsApp’s Live Location feature

  • Open a chat with the person or group you want to share your location with.
  • Tap on the attach button, select “Location”.
  • You will notice a new option as “Share Live Location.”
  • Choose this option and start sharing your location in real-time.
  • Users can also set the time for how long they want to share their location.

WhatsApp says, “If more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map.”

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