The aim is to encourage users to meet up with their friends in real life rather than observe each other’s lives from our phones. Users can see how much battery life their friends have, check out their real-time location, and message them within the app.
Considering Snapchat’s young audience you’d think it would be a hit right?
Well not necessarily. The feature which was rolled out on Android and iOS today has received mixed responses, with lots of users taking to Twitter to express their thoughts on the creepy function.
I really do not like the snap map and the fact that I know where peoples exact locations are by a snap…
— Andrea M Jara (@Andreamjara) June 22, 2017
Snapchat just invented the perfect way for stalkers and abusers to track and find their victims #SnapMap
— Em? (@CrayCray_Qirl) June 22, 2017
However, users do have a few privacy options that they can choose to avoid being tracked. For instance, users can opt out of sharing their location by switching to ‘ghost mode’, or choose to share their location only to specific friends.
The heat map within the feature is particularly snazzy, as it shows where vast amounts of people are in one area. Users can also view Local Snapchat Stories within that area. For example, today my Snap Map shows a heat map around the area of Glastonbury and once you zoom in you can watch the ‘Road to Glastonbury’ for Glastonbury Festival 2017.
To use Snap Map, make sure you have the latest update of Snapchat and simply zoom out of the main camera screen. You’ll immediately see your personal Bitmoji and your location, zoom out to view where your Snapchat friends are.
Snap Map is powered by Zenly which Snap Inc. recently acquired for a sum between $250 – 300 million. But it does appear that this acquisition was a worthy investment as Snap has seen a 2.4% increase in stock since Thursday morning.
I guess now all we need to do is wait to see when Facebook rolls it out across Instagram… You can bet it’s only a matter of time until the return of the Facebook vs. Snapchat battle.