Life360 is a location-sharing app that allows family members to keep track of each other’s real-time location. While the app is loved by parents wanting to keep an eye on their kids, the kids themselves often complain about the app’s constant surveillance. Life360’s newest feature, “Bubbles,” aims to give family members more privacy with location-sharing.
Bubbles allow any Life360 Circle member to share a circle representing their generalized whereabouts instead of their exact location. Users can can create a bubble by adjusting the radius on the map anywhere from one to 25 miles in diameter, for one to six hours at a time.
When the Bubble is created, the app’s other safety features remained enabled. However, the main draw is that parents will not be able to see their teen’s precise location.
Bubbles also aren’t a foolproof way to hide one’s location. If a car crash or emergency is detected, Bubbles will automatically burst. Parents can also manually burst a Bubble at any time and get an exact location if they have safety concerns.
TikTok Teens Serve as Inspiration
Life360 CEO Chris Hulls created a TikTok account to talk to younger users, who often make memes about dodging the app’s tracking. Hulls takes part in the memes himself, such as the TikTok above. In it, he attempts the “Bulletproof Challenge” and acknowledges the flack and hate he gets as Life360’s CEO — a common occurrence in his videos.
Young TikTok users previously launched a downrating campaign against Life360. Similar to their campaign against President Trump’s campaign app, they rated Life360 with one star in an effort to get it kicked off the App Store.
On top of taking part in viral challenge, Hulls uses TikTok to directly interact with teens’ criticism of the app, and their desire for more privacy. In the newest feature’s development stages, Hulls often referred to it as “Ghost Mode” when seeking input from TikTok users, implying the feature would allow teens to “ghost” their parents.
“Teens are a core part of the family unit — and our user base — and we value their input,” Hulls told TechCrunch. “After months of communicating with both parents and teens, I am proud to launch a feature that was designed with the whole family in mind, continuing our mission of redefining how safety is delivered to families,” he added.
How to Create a Bubble
To create a Bubble:
- Tap your avatar.
- Press “Create a Bubble” on your map view.
- Customize the size and duration of your Bubble.
To burst a Bubble:
- Tap the active Bubble or its creator’s avatar.
- Press the “Active Bubble” icon on the map for the info screen.
- Scroll down the info screen and tap “Burst Bubble.”
Life360 Bubbles — Sources