Facebook Messenger will soon be able to notify your closest friends if you are at the gym, movies or driving. The feature has been first spotted by a popular reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong and works in a similar fashion as the Instagram Threads app’s ‘Auto Status’ feature. After giving permission to Threads app to access locations and other services, the app monitors your location, uses an accelerometer to measures how fast you’re moving and counts your steps, and battery power to automatically give your friends an update of what you’re up to.
Facebook Messenger: The auto-status feature
The yet to be released Facebook Messenger feature would also use your location, accelerometer, and battery to know what you’re up to. It would then automatically share it with your closest friends list. According to Wong, the ‘Auto Status’ feature won’t show addresses or place names. It rather types of locations, like at a cafe, movement like driving, biking, walking or venue like at the movies, airport. Unlike the Threads app that shares your exact location, the Facebook Messenger feature would use an emoji on your Messenger profile pic to show if you’re at the movies, driving or at the gym.
The Facebook Messenger 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.
A few media report also suggests that the ‘Auto Status’ feature could also people initiate online or offline meetups by revealing what friends are up to.
There is no official statement from Facebook as to when this feature would be rolled out in Messenger. We will update you as soon as we have some additional concrete information on the same.