How to . . . use Snapchat’s new Snap Map - and how to turn it off

To track your location or not - that is the question

The Snapchat logo. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

The Snapchat logo. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

 

Remember when Snapchat was heralded as the future of social media, with its disappearing messages and fun filters? That was before Instagram upped its game and took a few pointers from its rival.

So Snapchat has been busy adding some new features; the latest is a map showing users where their friends are located, along with curated events that are being updated through the “Our Story” feature.

To access the Snap Map:

First of all, make sure your app is up to date. On the camera page, pinch the screen as if you were trying to zoom out. You should be brought directly to the map, where you’ll see any of your friends who have enabled the feature and curated events around you.

You’ll be given the option to share your location with all friends on your list, a select group of friends, or nobody, by going into “Ghost” mode. Ghost mode removes your location from the map and hides it from your friends. Plus you get a funky ghost icon to hold over your avatar’s face on the map

Should you do it?

Obviously, there are privacy implications for those using the Snap Map. The app updates your location each time you have Snapchat open, so unless you are careful, strangers could have access to your location simply because you are “friends” on Snapchat. There are obvious downsides to that, but it will be a personal decision for each user.

To disable location sharing:

Open Snapchat and go to the Snap Map. Click on your avatar and choose settings by tapping on the bar that pops up on the bottom of the screen. Enable Ghost mode, and you disappear from the map as far as other Snapchat users are concerned; your location is only visible to you.

You can double down on that by going to your phone’s Settings menu, choosing location services (under Privacy on iOS) and disabling it for Snapchat - although that will also mean you lose some of the geographical filters you apply to your photographs.