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Instagram’s Experimenting with a New ‘Friend Map’ Live Location Display

After it was first spotted in testing back in November, Instagram has now confirmed that it is indeed working on a new “Friend Map” display in the app, which is pretty much Snap Map (Instagram’s Version).

Instagram Friend Map

As you can see in these example screens, posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram’s Friend Map will enable your friends to see where you’re at, and where you’ve been, with all posts and Stories tagged with a location added to the map display.

The opt-in functionality could also show both live location and past visits, depending on your settings. Users will be able to choose which of their friends can see their map, while Instagram’s also looking to build in a dedicated Notes functionality, so that you can leave comments in different locations.

Instagram Friend Map

So, yeah, it’s very much like Snap Map, though with a few IG-specific additions, which could help to drive more interaction and engagement in the app.

And also, ideally, IRL connection. By seeing where your friends are, and what they’re up to, that could encourage more people to get in touch and join in the fun, or visit places that they’ve said are worth checking out.

Snapchat’s Map also now integrates business listings, which would be another feature IG would no doubt be keen to add in, as another means to help businesses showcase their physical locations and offerings. Maybe, at some stage, brands could also pay to add notes to their business listings in order to attract customers through the display.

Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature is in early internal testing, though there’s no plan for a live deployment as yet.

But it could be one to watch, especially given how close it looks to being finished.

Potentially another consideration for marketers with physical locations.

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