Mindful of these concerns Google has adopted an iterative approach for its flagship mapping service, particularly in so far as money is concerned, with the changes being a revenue neutral offering with no additional revenue streams for the search giant.
Instead people can simply give their contacts a heads-up on their present whereabouts by sending a text message containing a link which can be opened by any recipient – even if they don’t happen to have Google Maps installed.
This has the advantage of simplicity but does also mean the link can be copied and distributed to all and sundry – although the link will expire within a maximum of three days.
Those who wish to share their location with others can do so for either a defined period or indefinitely, with Google issuing email reminders every three weeks to remind the latter cohort that they’re letting their whereabouts be known.
Google Maps is the firms second most popular app, topped only by YouTube, drawing in 95m people every month.
Google has been tinkering with its maps app to replace nearby business results with local inventory ads.