I'm building a location based mobile app and I want users to share their location with me. However, I'm a bit torn on how to proceed when the user declines to share their location.
Similar to Tinder or other apps, I want them to share their location in order to use the app. For safety reasons, I would prefer to have this step required. At the same time I don't wish for people to stop using the app because I have a hard requirement of sharing location.
Am I being too cautious? I'm an engineer, my laptop is basically locked down as best as possible to prevent remote access. I use a VPN, encrypt my storage, etc. However, I do share my location with apps where it makes sense to do so (but only on my burner mobile device using a anonymized email account). How do regular users react when they see an app requires their location?
Although I want this to be a hard requirement, I'm willing to explore alternatives. If the user rejects allowing me to use their location, I can show them a text input where they can enter their city. However, I feel that relaxing on this requirement is kind of defeating the point of encouraging safety and responsibility on the part of the user. I want this app to encourage a safe space for my users, and if other people share their locations then it shows that they're not bots or worse creeps/phishers/etc. How can I explain the reasoning for this hard requirement in a simple and clear way to my users?
Update: I thought about it some more, and I decided that I will allow the user to manually search and add their city/town. However, to actually use some of the core features of the app, they will need to enable location services. They can still get an idea of how the app works, what features it has, etc. but to engage with other users they will have to enable their location. Thoughts?