Messaging apps are a fantastic way to stay in touch with friends and family, and many of the best messaging apps on Android are loaded with all kinds of fun and useful features. One such feature available on Telegram is Live Location, which lets you share your locations with friends and contacts and see their locations in return if they've also elected to share them with you. If you are at all familiar with Snapchat's Snap Map or Apple's Find my Friends, then you know what this looks like. We'll show you how to use Live Location on Telegram, what limits you can place on it, and why you may want to be selective about who you share your location information with.
How to use Telegram's Live Location feature
One differentiator of Telegrams Live Location from other similar services is that it's not on a dedicated map tab or button in the app. Rather, you have to share your location within a chat thread. Like some of those other services, you can place limits on just how long you share your location, from 15 minutes up to eight hours. Here's how.
- Open up the Telegram app and click on a chat thread.
- From the message composer, tap on the attachment icon (paperclip).
Tap on Location on the bottom row of icons.
- Tap Send my Current Location to share where you are at the moment.
- Tap Share my Live Location for... to share where you're going to be for the next period of time.
Read through the system notification disclaimer and tap OK.
- Read through the location permission, and allow Telegram access to your location.
- Choose how long you wish to share your Live Location for — either 15 minutes, 1 hour, or 8 hours.
If friends share their Live Location with you, you can now set up notifications to have the app alert you when they are within a certain radius (up to half a kilometer or more). You simply tap on their Live Location tile in the chat and tap on the notification bell to select at what distance you wish to be notified of their presence. You'll then see them on the map, along with the direction in which they're headed.
How to revoke Live Location access
If you share your location in a group, it is visible to all in the group. Conversely, you will be able to see everyone else in the group's current locations as well. There is a persistent notification bar at the top of the chat screen that lets you know with whom you're sharing your location so that you don't forget. Here's how to revoke location sharing.
- Tap the X to the right of the Live Location notification from within the chat.
Why you may not want to do this
Even if you don't manually turn off Live Location sharing, it will time out based on which option you selected (no longer than 8 hours). However, you may want to be judicious about how often and with whom you share your location information.
Security research Ahmed recently noted that Telegram's People Nearby feature (separate from the Live Location feature) could leak your precise location to strangers, with whom you certainly never intended to share that information. The process is a bit complicated though certainly possible, so while it's not necessarily an imminent threat, it's something you should be aware of. Personally, I never turn that feature on, but that's just me. You'll have to make your own choices when it comes to your location-sharing preferences.
Privacy and security are important features to look for in a messaging app, so before you start sharing your location and personal information, it would behoove you to take a look at Telegram vs. Signal vs. WhatsApp and other options to see which is the best fit for your needs.
If you do decide to use these features on Telegram, you may also want to learn how to turn Telegram's last seen online timestamp on/off, and how to activate two-factor authentication in the app.
Now that you know a little more about how to stay safe on Telegram, we wish you happy messaging!