Instagram takes on Snap and Apple with ‘Friends Map’ development

Instagram is reportedly developing a new “Friend Map” feature, which allows users to track where their friends, who opt-in, are on a map.

The feature, which is in an internal prototype and is not currently being tested externally, will take on Snapchat’s Snap Map, which launched in 2016 and Apple’s “Fine My” feature, which both allows users to see where their friends and family are currently located.

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The new feature, spotted by Mobile Developer, Alessandro Paluzzi, reveals users can customise which of their friends on the service will be able to see their location and go into “Ghost mode”, again similar to Snapchat.

According to the screenshots, location sharing also appears to be end-to-end encrypted.
It also appears to offer the ability to leave notes on the map itself, allowing users to let their connections know where they are.

The news comes as the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, Meta, recently announced it will be labelling images on its platforms that have been enhanced by AI, in a move to call out “people and organisations that actively want to deceive people”.