Is seeing everyone’s summer vacation photos giving you a case of wanderlust? Have a bad case of fear-of-missing-out (FOMO)? Perhaps the new Snapchat Snap Map feature can help with that. Can’t make it to Wimbledon? Take a look at photos on Snap Map. Craving a day at the beach? Use Snap Map to visit one of Hawaii’s beaches.
Snapchat Snap Map Can Show You The World
To take a look, all you need to do is pinch two fingers on the app’s main screen. And there you have it, the Snapchat Snap Map. You can see Snaps from all over the world on the map, just keep zooming out to get a bigger view. Are all your friends at a concert? Find the stadium to see Snaps from the concert.
While you can use the Snapchat Snap Map to keep track of all your nearby friends, it’s a way to take a peek into people’s lives all around the world. Thanks to the heat-mapping function, you can explore the world and see where lots of activity is happening. Currently the biggest hot spots are in North America, Europe, and the Arabian Peninsula. Tap on events to see Snaps and then swipe down to return to the Snapchat Snap Map.
How is it different?
With Facebook Live, Periscope, and other options, it’s easy to wonder what Snap Map offers that is new. Has Snapchat created something different or are they playing catch up to the other social networks?
If you and a friend have both added each other on Snapchat, you’ll have the option to share your locations with each other on Snap Map. However, your location on Snap Map only updates when you have Snapchat open. No worries about your location updating in the background on your phone. Additionally, your location will expire after a few hours or as soon as go into Ghost Mode.
Snapchat has included the use of Bitmojis to actually show you what your friends are doing on Snap Map. If your friend is at the pool their Bitmoji might appear in a swimsuit. You might also see their Bitmoji driving or walking. Sadly, if they don’t have their Bitmoji account linked, then you’ll just see a blank Bitmoji outline. If you tap on a friend’s Bitmoji it will let you know how long it has been since their location was updated. And FYI, your friend won’t be notified if you tap on their Bitmoji.
Not ready for all your friends to know where you are at all times? Snap Map does offer privacy options from “My Friends” to “Ghost Mode.” And, if you only want certain friends to be able to see you on Snap Map, you can choose the “Select Friends” option to choose who gets that access.
You’ll get prompted to choose your location sharing options the first time you open Snap Map. But you can also update your sharing options at any time. “Ghost Mode” is just what it sounds like, you’re invisible to everyone on Snap Map. “Select Friends” allows you to choose those certain friends who can see you on Snap Map. Friends you select aren’t notified when you choose them, and you can only select friends who have also added you on Snapchat. “My Friends” means your location will be shared with all your friends, though it doesn’t include people who have added you but who you haven’t added back.
Unlike typical Snapchat usage where users can chat with their friends, there’s no way to interact with users on Snap Map.
Bringing the World Together
One idea behind Snap Map’s development was that it could foster a sense of global community and togetherness. To that end, Snapchat does filter content that goes on the map, just like it does with Snapchat’s Live Stories. And Snapchat has said that it will bar any kind of hate speech or private images taken without a subject’s clear consent. In the case of catastrophic events, a Snapchat team would manually add important contextual details.
Ready to add your Snap to those high-activity hot spots on Snap Map? That means you’ll want to start adding Snaps to the “Our Story” collection. And if you’re stuck for a place to go on a Friday night just open Snap Map and see where the hot spots are. Remember, regardless of your privacy settings, snaps you submit to Our Story can still show up on Snap Map.
Jason Helfstein, an analyst at Oppenheimer, sees Snap Map as a future opportunity for Snapchat to let brands advertise to users based on their location. Helfstein wrote, “In the long term, we see an online-to-offline advertising ecosystem that SNAP can use to advertise through the transaction lifecycle.” To further emphasize the point that Snapchat is interested in location-based advertising is its purchase of the startup Placed.
Is Snap Map a step towards more location based marketing on Snapchat? Pinch those fingers together and take a look around. Then add to the scene by submitting a Snap of your own.
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