What is This?

SpotWalla's Family & Friends functionality allows you to share your last known location with other SpotWalla users and to view, on a single map, the last location of SpotWalla users who want to share their location with you. Your family is composed of all the devices in your account. Your friends are those SpotWalla users who choose to share their location with you and those with whom you share your location.

You control the family members that appear in the family viewer as well as each member's display name. The display name is the text that appears on the icon marking the last location. You also control the display name of all your friends. At any time and for any reason, you may break up a friend relationship.

At no time nor for any reason will SpotWalla make friends for you. You are in complete control of the friendships you establish.

SpotWalla allows you to search for friends by first or last name, but the search is restricted to only those SpotWalla users who've elected to share their name with others.

Sharing your name is not compulsory to using Family & Friends. In order to protect your anonymity each user has a unique URL which can be shared privately with your friends and used to establish a friendship in SpotWalla. This is discussed in the sections that follow.

Friendships are created in two steps. First, a request for friendship is made. Second, that request must be confirmed. So just because someone wants to be friends with you, the friendship isn't complete until you confirm the friendship request. Of course, you're under no obligation to confirm the request. You can choose to ignore any friend request.

Also, friendship requests can only be made by SpotWalla users who have at least one device with messages. Users who don't meet this criteria can still confirm friend requests, but they cannot initiate them.

Top

Security

Before establishing friendships in SpotWalla, it's important that you understand the security implications. You should never request or confirm a relationship with someone in whom you don't have complete trust. SpotWalla's Family & Friends could also be called Family & Damn Good Friends. Here's why...

When you share your location with a friend, they see your last location regardless of the type of message sent and regardless if the location falls within an active secure zone. Again, only request and confirm friendships from those in whom you have complete trust.

Here are some other things to note about security:

  • All Family & Friends functionality requires the user to be logged in.
  • If you decide to share your name with other SpotWalla users, you expose your first, last and user names to them. Sharing your name allows users to easily find you and make a friend request. By default this option is disabled for all users. You may enable/disable this option in your Account Preferences.
  • If you initiate a friend request, that person will know your first and last names.
  • When confirming a friendship request, you're under no obligation to share your location with the person making the request.
  • The family viewer only works when the user is logged in.
  • There is no way to share your family viewer with others.

Top

The Family Page

To access the Family & Friends page, log into SpotWalla, click your username in the upper right corner of the screen, then select Family from the menu. Toward the top of the page is the family menu bar that looks like...

Clicking a button in the menu bar accesses that particular page. The following sections describe each button/page.

My Family

This page displays all your family members. Remember, your family is composed of all the devices in your account.

You can change the Display Name of each family member and choose to show or hide each family member in the family viewer. To change the name displayed, simply update the value in the Display Name column. The text is limited to 6 characters. To show or hide the family member, check or uncheck the appropriate checkbox. After making any updates to this data, click the Update button to save the changes.

My Friends

This page displays all of your friends. Your friends are other SpotWalla users who've elected to share their location with you. The columns show the user's name, username, the device they're sharing with you, the date the friendship was established and the display name used in the Family Viewer.

You can change the Display Name of each friend and show or hide each friend in the family viewer. To change the name displayed, simply update the value in the Display Name column. The text is limited to 6 characters. After making any updates to this data, click the Update Display Names button to save the changes.

At any time and for any reason you may break up with a friend. Breaking a friendship removes all relationships associated with the original friend request. To break up with a friend, simply click the appropriate Break Up button.

My Devices

This page shows you everyone with whom you're sharing your location and the device used to share your location. This is different than the My Friends page because it displays both one-way and two-way friendships. A one-way friendship occurs when you send a friendship request to someone, they confirm it and choose to not share their location with you. SpotWalla allows this behavior for a number of reasons, but mainly because it allows someone with multiple devices to share their location with someone else who has fewer devices.

This can't be stressed enough, though... Only send friend requests to those in whom you have complete trust.

At any time and for any reason you may break up with a friend. Breaking a friendship removes all relationships associated with the original friend request. To break up with a friend, simply click the appropriate Break Up link.

Find Friends

From this page you can search for friends by first or last name and initiate a friend request. Because privacy is paramount in SpotWalla, the search is limited to only those SpotWalla users who have elected to share their name information with other SpotWalla users. More information on this option may be found in the help section: Account Preferences.

To search for friends, enter one or more first or last names in the search box and click the Search button. The search results are listed in a table. Each person has an associated Request button. To initiate a friend request, click the appropriate Request button.

On the next page you must select which device to use to share your location with the person. If you only have a single device in your account, that device will be chosen automatically. If you have multiple devices, you will need to select the device from a list.

Once you've selected the device, click the Send button. SpotWalla sends the user a notification email. And that's the end of the request process.

Friend Requests

This page shows you all of the friend requests others have sent you and that you've yet to confirm or ignore. The number in parentheses on the button in the menu bar indicates the number of unconfirmed friends requests you have. The page also shows you all the unconfirmed friendship requests that you've made.

To confirm a request, simply click its Confirm button and you'll be taken to to the confirmation page. You can choose to share your location with the person who made the friend request, but you're under no obligation to do so. You're given the option of selecting one of your devices or not sharing your location. Clicking the Confirm button adds the requester's device to your friends list and, if you chose to share your location with the requester, your device is added to his/her friends list.

To remove an unconfirmed friend request that you've made, click the appropriate Remove link.

Family Viewer

Clicking this link displays the family viewer. The last location of all your family and friends appear on the map. Each icon is color-coded to indicate the type of message sent - Ok, Help, Tracking and Custom. Each icon also includes the Display Name you configured for each family member and friend. Clicking an icon displays detailed information about the location.

Top