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Google Maps for iOS adds Facebook location sharing

A person's location on Google Maps can be shared via Facebook with friends or on Facebook Messenger, the social network's messaging application.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks up Messenger earlier this year. Google Maps now integrates with the platform. James Martin/CNET

Google Maps for iOS has added a nifty feature for those who want to tell friends where they are at any time.

The new version of Google Maps for iOS, version 4.8.0, has added location-sharing with Facebook and Facebook Messenger. The feature allows people to automatically share their location with Facebook friends or send their location information from Google Maps to people they're chatting with in the social network's messaging application.

The addition of location sharing with Facebook and Facebook Messenger will provide Google entry to a vast audience of Facebook users. Facebook has over 1.4 billion users worldwide and its Messenger service is home to 700 million active users. The feature previously was not available to anyone with an iOS device.

Google Maps is a free application available in Apple's App Store. The application provides full mapping and navigation features and was once the default mapping platform in iOS until Apple ditched it in 2012 in favor of its own mapping application, Apple Maps. Soon after, however, Apple Maps' flaws were exposed, forcing Apple CEO Tim Cook to apologize for the issues in his company's software and recommend users download other options, including Google Maps.

While Apple Maps has been improved over the years, Google Maps is still one of the most popular free applications on the iPhone and iPad. As of this writing, Google Maps is the 11th-most-popular free app in Apple's US iPhone App Store and is in 28th place on the iPad.

Still, the addition may be a bit of Google catching up to Apple. The iPhone maker already has a feature built into its own mapping application that allows users to pinpoint a location and share that with friends on Facebook. Users can also share their location via text and e-mail, among other communication methods.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.