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Today, Facebook Messenger is receiving an update which changes the way that the app handles location sharing. After a few months in the works, Facebook has decided to disable location sharing by default, instead allowing users to explicitly send a map of their location or another particular place as a separate message.

Previously, Facebook Messenger location settings would automatically grab location data every time a user sent a message and share it with their friends list. This update aims to give users more control over when and what location data is shared amongst friends.

To try out the feature, make sure that location data is enabled and then click the More icon or location pin at the bottom of your screen from within the app. From there users can pick nearby locations by dragging the map around or users can send a map with their current location. There’s also the option to search for and share nearby businesses, if you’re planning to meet up for example.

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According to TechCrunch, this change to the handling of location information could be just the first in a number of changes heading to Facebook’s service. The company appears keen to tie other location and commerce services into its Messenger app, drawing inspiration from successful Asian messaging services. Although no details about any potential future features were given.

In an effort to be more transparent about its services, Facebook also points out that its Messenger app does not collect any location information unless you specifically enable location services from within the app. Secondly, that the app does not collect any location information when the process is running in the background.

What do you think about Facebook Messenger’s changes to location sharing?

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