Instagram has clarified that it doesn’t share locations with others and uses ‘exact location’ for things like location tags and map features. The response from the Meta-owned company comes after several accounts shared announcements claiming that an update from Instagram could let iPhone users’ followers know their exact location. As expected, this message was widely praised for making people aware of the threats they could receive due to their exact location being available. However, it turned out to be misinformation and suggested precisely the extent to which uninformed users of the social network could be.
Exact location on Instagram on iPhone
While the source of this misinformation (Instagram call it ‘meme’) is not known, a widely circulated message on the photo and video sharing platform suggests that iPhone users are at risk of revealing their ‘EXACT location’ to their Instagram followers. can cause criminals to commit theft and help stalkers. The message says that if a user tags a location on their post, their exact location (compared to a broader location) will be shared with their followers.
Instagram give a clear answer on this issue. The Meta-owned platform states that it does not share users’ locations with others. It works like other social media companies, and “we use precise location for things like location tags and map features.” It also says that users have permission to manage Location Services through their device settings. However, it should be noted that you may not be able to enjoy the experience you have right now.
Consider a scenario where you went to a wonderful resort with a wonderful, peaceful atmosphere and you want to brag about what you found on your social media handles. You just take out your phone, click on the picture, search for the name of the resort, tag it and hit share. People will know exactly which resort you are staying at and may want to explore more about it. This is only possible because you have allowed Instagram to access your exact location. This can be done on both iOS and Android.
It’s the same feature that lets you book Uber and Ola taxis. The same feature helps you to reach your destination precisely. And it’s purely opt-in. You don’t want to share your location, fine, don’t share it. But then you won’t be able to tag and brag about the amazing resort you visited or the amazing restaurant you went to with your friends this weekend.
The ‘meme-fest’ above could be another example of spreading misinformation without any real proof. While it’s true that Instagram and many other apps access your exact location, it comes with a lot of other stuff. It is wrong to add false information and then instill fear in the community.
We’ve reached out to Instagram seeking further explanations on a similar issue and how it handles such cases. We will update the story as we receive a response from the company.