Facebook Messenger is becoming much more than a chat app.
The app, which Facebook effectively forced people to download last year, can send real money, work directly with other apps to send GIFs, make free voice calls, and now it can help you plan where to go with your friends.
You can already share your current location using Messenger, but on Thursday Facebook announced that people can now find and send locations of other places. So if you’re trying to find a spot to eat dinner with a friend, you could search for it, find it on a map, and share its location all without leaving the Messenger app.
It’s easy to imagine a future scenario in which services like the ride-hailing app Uber and the restaurant reservations app OpenTable will be integrated in Messenger, keeping you from needing to leave Facebook’s world for many tasks.
“You might want to make reservations,” Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger’s head of product, told TechCrunch. “How are we all getting there? Maybe there’s a transportation service somehow… What we’re launching is the foundation of everything that’s coming.”
This new feature doesn’t mean that people can always see where you are — Facebook said that your location will only be shared with people you explicitly choose.
“With this update, you have full control over when and how you share your location information,” Chudnovsky said in a company blog post. “You only send a location when you tap on the location pin and then choose to send it as a separate message.”
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