The announcement of Snapchat’s new feature Snap Map has gotten the internet talking about privacy and safety on social media.
Snap map was created as a way for friends to share locations and for users to see snaps from locations around them. Snapchat stated that it is a way to find your friends, see what’s happening and get inspired to go on an adventure.
Once you open the app your Snapchat friends will pop up in the form of their Bitmoji avatars and show where they currently are and when they were last online. By tapping on their avatar you can message them or make plans.
There’s also a feature called “heat maps” where you can tap on an area where lots of snaps are being uploaded, potentially showing a party or festival. Creepy or cool?
However, many people are worried the update could have a more sinister side…
Snapchat just invented the perfect way for stalkers and abusers to track and find their victims #SnapMap
— Emily🌻 (@MLY_DNKLR) June 22, 2017
Just had a friend send me a screenshot that #snapmap shows exactly where I live. Like my street and house. So yeah, ghost mode activated.
— Colleen (@calhoun3107) June 22, 2017
Activate ghost mode
The most important thing to know about the new update is that if you don’t want your location to be seen you can activate ghost mode at any time. The thought of anyone being able to see where you are and your exact location is quite scary. So if you’re worried about your safety or privacy make sure to go to your settings and activate ghost mode. In this mode your friends and other people won’t be able to see your exact location.
Once you update your Snapchat pinch the screen to activate the map. At this point you may be asked to activate location settings. A screen should then appear which will allow you to view visibility settings. Here is where you can choose to go into ghost mode which means you will not show up on any maps.
Other location services
Snapchat are not the first to delve into location sharing and they certainly won’t be the last. Facebook Messenger has a similar location sharing service. It allows users to share their exact location in a group chat or message. Other Snapchat features such as the geo-tagged filters also use a similar location service.
The question remains: Has snapchat gone too far with the new update or is it all just a bit of fun? Whatever side you’re on remember to tread with caution and stay safe.