A real-time ‘Snap Map’ allows users to see exactly where their friends are, even down to the precise street or house. Speaking about the feature at the update launch, Snapchat explained that it was a new way for people to explore: “”We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends and get inspired to go on an adventure.”
To open the map, pinch the photo screen with two fingers and you’ll be able to see heat marks across the map to identify who is active. The more red circles, the more people there are in that area. Then, when you click on a circle you can view pictures and videos that have been taken there.
However, users who have updated their app will automatically be able to be seen on other people’s maps unless they disable their location. Here’s exactly how:
On the main Snapchat screen, scroll down to your name and the option for ‘Added Me’, ‘Add Friends’ and ‘My Friends’
Click the settings cog in the top right hand corner, scroll down the page until you see ‘My Location’ and click on it.
Turn on ‘Ghost Mode’ and you will now be invisible on the map.
In a response to safety concerns, a Snapchat spokesperson said
“The safety of our community is very important to us and we want to make sure that all Snapchatters, parents and educators have accurate information about how the Snap Map works. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time.
“It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”