Latent functions include anything from using newspaper to start a fire to using a water bottle filled with frozen water as an ice pack. According to the Sociology Guide website, a latent function is any function of an object or service that is not its intended purpose for being created
Other examples of latent functions can be found in educational and religious institutions. While religion is designed to educate or instruct, a latent function of both of these qualities is that they offer recreational and social opportunities.
The opposite of a latent function is a manifest function. This refers to the reason an institution or item is specifically created. For example, the manifest function of a newspaper is to report the news.