Snap Map is the latest addition to Snapchat experience in version 10.11 for iOS and Android. Snap Map will change the way you connect to your friends via the app. In real time, the Snap Map will show the location of your friends’ snaps, the places where the most snaps are coming from and what is going on around the world. Another focus of the update is to let you decide where you want to be by viewing various activities happening at different locations via snaps on your Snap Map.
Snap Map opens in a map UI directly from the main screen. All you have to do is to pinch your fingers, to get to the map. You will be given a tutorial on how to use Snap Map when you open it for the first time, after the update, and the app automatically updates your location when ever you open it. In settings, you can choose who can view your location, either all friends or just selected friends. If you prefer to keep your location private, you can enable “Ghost Mode”. You can also choose who views your snaps, add recent snaps to your story for friends to see, or to Our story for them to appear on the Snap Map for the world to view.
Although Our Story is an old feature of the app, the Snap Map makes it more exciting by identifying where the Snaps are being shared from. The most snaps being added to ‘Our Story’ from a region or location indicate an event or a special moment, like Coldplay’s concert, Women’s liberation March, Pride Parade, Christmas or Eid. Tap on the heat spot on the map to view the snaps from a region where most snaps are being submitted from. The heat spot gets redder as the number of snaps increase from that location.
Snap Map works the same way as Google Maps does. Zoom in to view a detailed version of your current location and zoom out to view your city, country and other countries on the globe. However, it is a more fun version of Google Maps with Bitmojis and circular icons at different locations indicating uploaded stories.
Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap, discussed with Refinery29 that Snap Map as a feature has unbelievable depth. It will transform the way snapchatters will connect to their friends by making it easier for them to share their locations without having to update geo-filters, exploring different places around the world, deciding where one wants to be at the moment or where one wants to go for vacation. The Map will also be instrumental in sharing breaking news before the media because people at the spot of an incident can share the information instantly.
“There’s definitely the aspect of where are my friends and what’s happening around them, but then there’s a greater aspect of what’s happening globally, there’s something really powerful about seeing the diversity, but also the similarity of snaps around the world.”