Snap Map is one of many options that Snapchat came up with. Snapchat keeps their daily million users happy with continuously building new features. This is under the pressure to keep up with their rival Instagram. Facebook and Instagram lack in popularizing their Story filters making Snapchat the lead runner in the race. The feature that Snapchat is up against in this rivalry is Facebook Messenger’ Live Location.
What is Snap Map?
Snap Map is another communicative feature that focuses on Snap users’ whereabouts. There is a map on the app that comes up after you opened the app’s camera with pinching the screen with two fingers. On this map you can see your friends’ locations marked with their Bitmoji avatars. There are two more things on the menu. First there are heat signatures that show places on the map where people are sharing public snaps. The other feature on Snap Map is the popular events or locations. These places are displayed with a magnifying glass with a picture in it.
The location of the user appears on the map when the user opens up the app. This user’s avatar stays on the location for eight hours and then disappears. Our Map is a section where users share their snaps on the Snap Map. If you choose to use this option your shared location will disappear after 24 hours. The Snapchat decides which snaps to be in the highlighted areas on the map shown on the Our Map based on its algorithms.
Snapchat’s representatives always insist that they care about their users’ privacy, so let’s check this claim out. The first good security measure on Snap Map is that it’s turned off by default. To enable the feature you have to update the app and go through a four screen activation process.
What Snapchat was not completely clear on their video introducing Snap Map. They didn’t mention that your exact location will be available for your audience every time you open the app. So you have to be sure who you are sharing your location with. However, like the first screenshot on the right in the picture above you can choose your audience on the map.
This concern reaches higher considering kids and teenagers using the app. The young might not know about this feature’s exact location sharing. Even worse is when the parents are not aware of this security threat. Users should be aware of this concern because it is a real-life risks and consequences. The young and other users in their vulnerable moments can be the victim of stalking, privacy intrusion, harassment or worse. Predators and other criminals might use these information based on the events on the map to their criminal agenda. Snapchat dangers must be treated by the company and the users as well.
The company claims they take their community’s safety seriously. However there are security measures that Snapchat took to avoid dangers that might concern their users. Here are some actions within the app to prevent and/or reduce the risks of privacy and security.
Snapchat claims that they delete the exact addresses after a while in that eight hour period. They are not clear on what grounds and measurements and time factor they do this. The other security measure is that Snapchat notifies the user if they choose to share their location with all their friends. They keep asking if the user is absolutely sure to share their location with ALL their friends. You can also disable the feature by going to “Ghost Mode”. You can watch Snapchat’s video showing the Snap Map Introduction. Moreover, you can set the “Ghost Mode” to the hours you want it to be off.