Facebook Messenger may soon have a feature that will let your close friends know what you’re up to. A user has spotted Facebook prototyping a version of Instagram’s Threads app’s Auto Status option that indicates what a person is up to using emoji’s over their profile icon. The feature will allow a user to choose who can see their status and will share the basic location information like the type of place, or activity, without giving the exact information like specific addresses or place names.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the feature on Facebook Messenger will use your location, accelerometer, and battery life to determine what you’re up to and share it with specific friends. However, instead of sharing the exact coordinates, it will overlay an emoji on to the profile icon to describe the activity a person is involved in. The development of the feature was confirmed by Facebook’s EMEA Communications Manager Alexandru Voica, who said it was it was in its early stages. Voica said, “We’re always exploring new features to improve your Messenger experience. This feature is still in early development and not externally testing.” Voica was responding to the tweet from a Jane Manchun Wong, who first spotted the feature in the Facebook Messenger code.
We’re always exploring new features to improve your Messenger experience. This feature is still in early development and not externally testing. https://t.co/SAYE9BcFC7
— Alexandru Voica (@alexvoica) March 30, 2020
The Auto Status feature was first seen on Instagram’s Threads app, a close friends-only app from the Facebook-owned platform that was launched in October 2019. The Auto Status feature on Instagram Threads lets specific friends see what you’re up to as you go about your day. It allows users to share location info, weather, battery status, and more with their friends even when they’re not in the application. Auto Status is only visible to a specific list of friends and one can change that any time, similar to how Instagram’s Close Friends list works. It overlays an emoji over a user’s profile icon to indicate what they’re up to.
A user can either select an Auto Status manually, or can give Instagram the ability to use data signals to choose an emoji. Instagram will then match your exact location to specific places like home, work, cafes, bars, travelling out of town and more. Your accelerometer also lets it show if you’re biking or driving. And your phone battery can let it display that you’re low on juice or currently charging.