Instagram Spotted Testing a Feature to Let Users See Friends’ Locations

Instagram is reportedly working on a feature that will let users see the last active location of their friends on a map. The feature is said to be called Friend Map, and it appears to be similar to Snap Map. As per a leak, Instagram could soon add a world map-like interface where users will be able to see others all over the map based on the location shared by them. Users can also put themselves on the map by creating posts with location info.

Mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi leaked details about this feature on February 24 on X (formerly known as Twitter). Sharing multiple screenshots of Friend Map, he said, “Instagram keeps working on “Friend map”: your friends, on a map.” If true, this will be a new interface for the social media app, and it might even be used as a new way to discover people and accounts near a user’s location.

Based on the images, it appears that Friend Map will open up the world map, where the friends of a user could be visible (if they share their location data). The screenshots indicate users will also be able to leave notes on the map. This could appear similar to how the Notes feature currently shows up in the Direct Message section. If the leak is to be believed, users could have as many as three different places to make status updates including Stories, Notes, and Notes on Map. “Find a new excuse to share what’s happening wherever you are,” the message on the screenshot stated.

Other possible features of Friend Map include choosing which friends get to see the shared location, end-to-end encryption of location data, and an easy method of adding posts to the map just by adding location info in them. One screenshot also showed granular controls offered by Instagram where a user can control who sees the last active location by picking between Ghost Mode (nobody sees it), Followers you follow back, and Close Friends. No other details of this feature are known at this moment.

Paluzzi also reshared an old post from October 2023 where a new Stories icon with the text Nearby can be seen. The tipster stated that this could also be related to the Friend Map feature. While details remain unknown, it could be that any nearby user’s posts for the Friend Map can directly be viewed there.

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