If you have not heard of Snapchat’s new “Snap Map” feature, it puts users and their snaps into a map so friends and other users can see where they are and what they are doing in real time. Snap Maps can actually show people you have on Snapchat what you’re doing (driving, listening to music etc), where you’re doing it and how you’re doing it. The Snap Map shows the user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar from within the app, pinpointed on a world map. You can zoom into the map to see the exact location of your Snapchat friends. It is an interesting way to connect via the app. That’s all cool and dandy but there have been a lot of privacy questions around the new feature as concerns over stalkers and other people who may abuse the feature become a focal talking point. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. play
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. (Kimberly White/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
It is a valid concern in that Snap Maps can actually show people you have on Snapchat what you’re doing (driving, listening to music etc), where you’re doing it (at home, in school, work etc) and those people can do whatever they like with that information (including stalking you, or doing something even more dangerous). “Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat — giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map — we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person,” says child safety group Childnet International, in a blogpost. “It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.”
Talk about taking creepy to a whole new level. All hope is not lost though. You can tweak some of the settings to show your location only to people you know, a personal list of friends or no one at all. Check them below: Ghost Mode: Selecting this option means you will be the only that can view your location on the Snap Map.
You will still be able to see the location of friends that share their location but nobody will be able to see yours. My Friends: This option lets all your Snapchat contacts see your location. If you want to select this option, then you should review your contact list and make sure your contacts don’t add people they don’t know as well. Select friends: This setting will allow you select specific contacts you want to allow to view your location. This lets you properly control who can view your location.
Snap Maps can pinpoint your exact location (net-imperative)
It should also go without saying (especially in this Nigeria where ritualists, kidnappers and all kinds of criminal elements run amok) that you should watch the kind of people you keep on your Snapchat contact list. Those views/comments and so on are not worth it. Finally, location services are optional so you should think about your approach to that. These kinds of features can legit lead people to your house. Watch the kind of requests you accept.