WhatsApp announced the feature on their official blog, where the Facebook owned company was keen to play up their end-to-end encryption security measures that are designed to keep your location details safe.
This means that only people you choose to share your location with should be able to access this information, protecting it from intrusion from hackers, governments and other third parties.
An exact launch date has not been specified, but some smartphone users with the latest version of WhatsApp will already be able to see the feature on their handsets.
Others are expected to have access in the coming weeks.
In a written statement, a spokesman for WhatsApp said: ‘Today, we’re rolling out a new feature that allows you to share your location in real-time with family or friends.
‘Whether you’re meeting up with friends, letting loved ones know you’re safe, or sharing your commute, Live Location is a simple and secure way to let people know where you are.
‘This end-to-end encrypted feature lets you control who you share with and for how long.
‘You can choose to stop sharing at any time or let the Live Location timer simply expire.’
Location-sharing is already a common feature on other social apps, including Snapchat’s Snap Map and Facebook Messenger.
HOW IT WORKS
To use the Live Location option, open a chat with either the group of people or person you want to share your location with.
Click the attach icon – a paperclip on Android or the plus symbol on iPhone – and select the Location button, which will appear as a map on Android or a ‘drop pin’ symbol on iOS.
Click the new ‘Share Live Location’ option.
You can then choose how long you want your location to be visible for: 15 minutes, one hour, or eight hours.
You can also add a comment.
Once your location is live, you can then stop sharing it manually at any time by pressing ‘stop sharing’.
Each person in the chat will be able to see your real-time location on a map.
And if more than one person shares their Live Location in the group, all locations will be visible on the same map.