Earlier this week, an Instagram post went viral talking about a new iOS update that has made it possible for people to find “your exact location on Instagram”. The user claimed that if you add your location through location tags, people will be able to find your exact location rather than your general location. This prompted many people to go into settings and disable location permissions.
Instagram was quick to respond to these allegations and clarified the matter in a Twitter thread. The company explained that the app’s “Precise Location” feature is only meant for location tags and map features. People can share their location data with their followers if they want to, but the information is not displayed publicly without consent.
To be clear, we don’t share your location with others. Similar to other social media companies, we use precise location for things like location tags and maps features.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) August 25, 2022
Instagram head Adam Mosseri also clarified that Location Services is a device setting on smartphones and not a new feature from Instagram. It can easily be turned off in your phone settings.
It is worth mentioning that a viral social media post is not always a reliable source of information, which is why we recommend verifying claims you see on the internet. The original post does not mention whether the location feature was Instagram’s doing and only called it an “iOS update” without any basis.
The user has now updated their Instagram post and admitted that there were a few mistakes in their claims. The post, however, is still up for “awareness” purposes.
If you are concerned about an app tracking your location, you can always disable location features in your phone’s settings. You can also disable an app’s location permissions so it has no access to it. Both iOS and Android phones allow you to do so and they also record logs of apps that accessed your location.