Once upon a time Snapchat was solely a mobile app that allowed users to send 10-second (or less) pictures and videos that were permanently deleted once viewed. Fast forward about five years, and the app has evolved into so much more. The biggest feature signifying the evolution of the popular app was just launched this past week. Snapchat launched “Snap Map”, an opt-in feature that gives users the options to share their location with their friends.
The app gives you the option to remain in “ghost mode”, meaning your location will not be shared. However, if you do decide to share your location, your bitmoji will appear on a map representing your exact location. The maps are extremely accurate, offering a world map view as well as street view. Only your friends can view your location on the map.
Snapchat has been notorious for letting your friends know whenever you screenshot a chat, screenshot a snap, or look at their story. The transparency that Snapchat promotes can be detrimental to a lot of individuals. Especially if they are sending sensitive or personal snap. However, your friends will not be notified if you are snooping on them through the Snap Map feature, which will save many individuals from looking like complete stalkers. So far we have gone over some interesting details about the feature, but there are also many negative risks that come along with it.
The new feature has received criticism for its perhaps misleading introduction. When the feature was introduced to users via a video snap from the Snapchat team, it was advertised as a feature that shows where you took certain snaps, which would come in handy to look back at a selection of snaps from an event or vacation. However, the Snapchat team fails to mention that the app will share your location anytime you have it opened. This is a huge privacy concern for many people. This update is especially concerning for parents, since teens these days freely add new friends on Snapchat. This could be people they’ve met once or twice or maybe haven’t even met at all. It is common for someone to post their Snapchat username on their Instagram or Twitter bio, where anyone can see it.
So, what do you guys think? Is this new feature a privacy concern or just a cool new feature that can benefit individuals? Do you think this will carry on and influence the introduction of similar features on other social media platforms? Let us know in the comments section below!