The Top Location Sharing Apps

Tell Your Friends Where You Are and Have Conversations Based on Your Location

You can share your location through virtually any of the major social networking apps out there today -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. -- but that doesn't mean that you always should, especially if your profiles are public and you've got a lot of friends or followers who may as well be considered complete strangers.

Location sharing is still a fun a way to tell your closest friends or family members what you're up to, and there are lots of apps out there you can use to specifically do just that -- without blasting your exact location to everyone on the open Internet. All of these apps also give you flexible control of your privacy settings, so you can customize exactly what you do and don't want to share, and with whom.

Ready to share your next destination? Download one of the following apps to get started, and invite your friends and family to join the app too!

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Foursquare's Swarm

swarm app

Back in 2010, Foursquare was the ultimate location sharing app. It was fun and trendy for a while, but since then it's seen a lot of changes. The original Foursquare app is still available, but its primary use is for discovering places around you. Swarm is the newer app with the social networking component stripped out of the original app. For location sharing specifically, it's still one of the best apps out there.

Get Foursquare's Swarm: Android | iOS | Windows Phone |

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Dan LeFebvre/Flickr

If you're not sold on Swarm, well then there's Glympse -- another great location sharing app that lets your friends see exactly where you are in real time. Much like Snapchat, you can give your friends a "glympse" of your location before it automatically expires, so your location is never permanently posted.

Get Glympse: Android | iOS |

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Similar to Find My Friends, Life360 is all about sharing your location with the closest people in your life -- your family members and best friends in particular. You start by building a main circle out of your immediate family members, and then you can keep creating more circles for other people -- extended family members, friends, coworkers and so on. You can also message people directly through the app.

Get Life360: Android | iOS | Windows Phone

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SocialRadar is an app that takes a look at what's going on with the people in your social networks and tells you who's around you in real-time. The app integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and Foursquare, even letting you see all your friends' posts and giving you a chat option with nearby friends. You can choose to be public, anonymous or invisible when using the app.

Get SocialRadar: iOS | 

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Highlight isn't just for connecting close with your friends, it's about finding out more about anyone around you. If someone nearby also has a Highlight profile, they'll show up in the app on your phone. Depending on what they share, you'll be able to see their name, photos, mutual friends and more. It runs in the background and can send you notifications when friends are nearby.

Get Highlight: iOS |

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Spiral is very similar to Yik Yak, but gives you the choice to post as yourself or as an anonymous user. The app gives you a community of people to interact with based on your location, bringing you new conversations according to proximity. You can choose to grow or shrink your spiral area in order to see what's being said about the closest concert, school event, local festival or anything else.

Get Spiral: Android | iOS |

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Drop Messages

Drop Messages is more of a messaging app than anything else, but with a location-based twist. You can send a message to absolutely anyone in the world with it, and they will be able to read it when they're somewhere around a specific geographic location. For example, you could leave a message for people at a specific event with details about what to check out, or you could say "congratulations!" to anyone who arrives at their graduation ceremony.

Get Drop Messages: iOS |