The new Glympse service allows users to plot the locations of groups of people on a map

In what’s being described as the biggest release since its debut, Seattle startup Glympse today rolled out a fresh design as well as new features that makes it easier for users to share location information with groups of people.

In the past, users could send Glympse alerts to multiple people, but it was difficult. With the new functionality, CEO Bryan Trussell said that creating a group is simple.

“Whether it’s guy’s night out or a caravan or a flash mob or the family, it is really just a couple clicks to put everyone on a map,” said Trussell.

For example, if a group of friends wanted to meet up for a baseball game, they could create a group and send a message to: !BaseballNightOut. At that point, everyone who sent a Glympse to that keyword would join the group, with their location information displayed on a map.

In addition, for the first time, users of the service can now request where other people are hanging out.

“It makes it real easy if you are sitting there waiting for somebody to join you,” said Trussell, adding that it is up to the recipient to decide whether they accept the request or not. “We think that is really cool, and will open up an entirely new dimension of the app.”

It’s also designed to eliminate the constant back-and-forth of text messages.

As with the old version of the app, Glympse only allows users to share location information for up to four hours. That’s intentional, and it won’t be changing anytime soon, says Trussell.

“We may up it at some point in the future, but we are never going to take it to infinite because that’s not who we are,” he said. “There are other apps to do that if you always want to let someone know where you are and you always want to be broadcasting.”

The new version of Glympse is available for both iOS and Android. The company, which faces competition from a new mobile app called Twist, raised $7.5 million from Menlo Ventures and Ignition Partners last year.

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