In an increasingly interconnected world, social media platforms have become integral to our lives. We share updates and photos, send messages, build connections, and spend a lot of time on these platforms. Another thing is these platforms often have location-based features that can enhance your experience and other people’s experiences. While the platform’s AI uses the location-based feature to determine content, it can also be a tracker. In this article, we’ll explore how to find friends location on Facebook and other social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook Messenger. We will also explore how to understand your location and the location of other people.
How to See Others Location in Facebook and Other Social Media Platforms
Most social media platforms offer location services that allow you to tag your posts with your current location. The location service is also a determining factor in the types of content you will get. For example, if you live in Mumbai, India, you will get targeted content based on your country of residence (this won’t be the only content you will have access to, but it will be one of the content categories.)
Let us explore the settings of each platform and enable location services, usually found in the privacy or account settings.
How to Track FB Location?
- The person turns on their location service: When they turn on their location service and set it to public view, you can check their current location. However, you won’t have access if a person turns off their current location. For example, Facebook allows you to “check in” to specific places, sharing your location with friends and followers. This is one of the best ways to search location on Facebook.
- Share your location when creating a post: Facebook allows you to share your location when creating a post or use the “Check In” feature to select a nearby location. When a person uses the Check-In feature, you can check their location. With this method, you can also learn how to track location on Facebook chat.
Geotagging on Instagram
Instagram allows people to add geotags to their posts, showing where the photo or video was taken.
While creating a post, people can tap “Add Location” to choose a nearby location or search for a specific place. If someone you are trying to find uses this service on their recent post, you can track their current location.
Location Tagging on Twitter
Twitter allows you to tag your tweets with a specific location. Compose a tweet and click on the location icon to add your current location. If a user uses this feature on their tweets, you can easily find their current location.
Facebook Messenger Location Tracking
Facebook Messenger lets people share their live location with friends for a set time. The feature is temporary, and the location will turn off after the set period.
To do this, the person must open a conversation, tap the location icon, and select “Share Live Location” for a specified duration.
Why People Track Other People
Whether it’s genuine concern, safety purpose, or even sinister intentions, people you know or do not know may attempt to track you. It’s important to understand why you may be tracked and how to protect yourself from people who track you for sinister reasons.
1. Genuine Concern for a Family or a Friend
A family member who suddenly goes missing is a serious reason for concern. Typically, the police will not start a search for a person until 48 hours after the said person is missing. We all know that if a person is abducted and nothing is done within 48 hours, the chances of apprehending the abductor become incredibly thin. If you feel that a loved one is in trouble, one of the first places for online search is the person’s social media accounts. When did this person last post, and what was the location of the post?
2. Caring for Loved Ones
One of the most compelling reasons for tracking someone is the genuine concern and affection one holds for them. Parents, guardians, and family members often track loved ones to ensure their safety and well-being, especially children or elderly family members. Children and elderly family members are usually targets of sinister abductors. Abductors know that a child or an older adult will be an easy target. You are well within your right to track the location of family members who cannot protect themselves.
3. Maintaining Relationships
Friends, partners, and family separated by geographical barriers may utilize tracking to maintain a sense of closeness and involvement in each other’s lives. Although, if you want to track your lover, you should do so with their permission. Otherwise, you may be infringing on another person’s rights. And yes, you can be sued.
4. Building Trust and Transparency
In intimate relationships, the act of tracking can serve as a means to foster trust and transparency. Partners may choose to share their locations as a way to assure each other of their whereabouts and enhance mutual trust. But remember, your partner needs to be aware that you are tracking them. Otherwise, you are a stalker, and your partner can take legal action if she/he discovers them.
5. Personal Safety
Your friends can decide to allow tracking for personal safety. For example, a friend who is traveling or visiting an online friend or lover for the first time may allow device tracking. With her device location on, she can be easily tracked if she does not get home at the agreed time or suddenly becomes unreachable.
6. Parental Concerns
Teenagers and young adults seeking independence while still under the watchful eye of parents might agree to tracking as a compromise to ease parental anxiety and address their need for autonomy. The balance means that teenagers and young adults get to go places and stay longer hours outside, but the parents will know where they are every second. It’s a win-win situation.
7. Friendship and Emotional Bonds
Friends might track each other to stay informed about each other’s daily activities, share experiences, and feel emotionally connected even when physically apart. Is your friend studying in a different state? You can share locations, experiences, and content seamlessly, regardless of the social media platform where you post your pictures and videos. You can share the location of a frat party, pictures from the frat party, and many other details.
8. Personal Insecurities and Trust Issues
In certain cases, the desire to track someone may stem from personal insecurities or doubts within a relationship. Perhaps a jealous lover who needs to know your whereabouts every time or a partner who does not trust your movements. Individuals struggling with jealousy or mistrust may use tracking to assuage their anxieties. If you suffer from anxiety and jealousy, you should know that tracking a lover can quickly escalate into an unfortunate and violent incident. You must seek professional help before you hurt your partner and yourself.
A need for control or an inability to let go might prompt someone to track another person. There are endless stories of fans who track celebrities or people who stalk former lovers. It’s usually sad and sinister, and these people can resort to violent measures if they find out that you have moved on or are with another person.
Now, we know that people who love you track you because they want to be able to make objective guesses of the last place you were. However, some people will track out of jealousy or for more sinister reasons. If the latter is the case, follow these steps to protect yourself from being tracked on social media.
Review and Adjust Privacy Settings
Regularly review the privacy settings of your social media accounts: Limit who can see your posts and location information to trusted friends or connections.
Disable Location Sharing
When not needed, turn off location services for your social media apps. You can also turn on the location of your phone. It’s a good rule to keep your phone or tab’s location perpetually off and only turn them on when necessary.
This prevents platforms from accessing your real-time location data.
Be Mindful of Geotags:
Avoid adding geotags to posts that reveal your home address or other sensitive locations.
Use General Locations or Landmarks
When you use a general location, people who track you cannot pinpoint your exact location. Do not use a general location if you feel unsafe or like you are being tracked. Turn off your location completely. If you feel the tracker has more sophisticated technology, you may have to dispose of your phone and SIM card. Let’s explore how you can customize your location sharing on FB Messenger to general locations or landmarks.
In Facebook Messenger, you should only share your live location with trustworthy individuals. Do not share your location with large groups or public chats. Many stories abound of people who got mugged because they shared their location publicly or their posts suggested where they might be at that time. Often, people ask, can you look up someone location on Facebook? And the answer is yes. So, you must be careful about the access you give others.
Limit App Permissions:
Adjust app permissions on your smartphone to restrict location access for social media apps. When you restrict app permission, you stop attempts to track phone location through Facebook and other social media platforms.
Share your location “While Using the App” instead of “Always.” With this, your location will only be shared when you are on the app and turned off when you leave the app.
Turn Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth:
Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use to prevent tracking through these connections: people can track you through public Wifi. You can also be tracked when your Bluetooth is on, even if you do not connect to the tracker’s Bluetooth. Wifi and Bluetooth can be used to track someone location on social media and off social media.
Regularly Update Apps
Regularly update all your social media apps to get the latest security and privacy features.
What to Do If You Do Not Find the Person’s Location Through Social Media
A person who does not share their location is, perhaps, very private. However, suppose your intentions are good, and you want to find a person’s current location. In that case, you can check class reunion websites, high school alumni groups, search engines, reverse image search engines (if you have a picture), people search websites like Radaris, mutual friends and contacts, professional contacts, former places of work, and other means. You can also ask around friends and family members. If the person is missing, you can call all known contacts on the person’s phone. Also, make sure you report to the police as soon as possible.
How Can Radaris Help?
Radaris is a people search engine with impressive accuracy and database. Radaris has over a billion data points, including names, email addresses, and business addresses. Radaris is a useful tool for finding people online. If the person has online activities, Radaris will help you find them or at least direct you in the most rational direction. If you do not see other locations in Facebook and other social media platforms, Radaris can help.
Always remember to ask for people’s permission before tracking them on social media. If you lost contact with an old friend, approach the matter honestly: even if you eventually find them, accept that they may have deliberately cut themselves from you and other mutual friends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to find a friend’s location on social media?
Tracking people can go against the law, especially if used for sinister reasons. However, if you are trying to find an old friend or your child or fear that a family member is missing, you have done nothing wrong.
Should I use a private investigator or people search tool
Private investigators are extremely efficient at finding people that do not want to be found, but the best can be incredibly expensive. However, a people search tool like Radaris comes at a low price, and both methods may yield the same result. Before investing in a PI, maybe use the cheaper people search tool first.