Coping with Snap Maps: A Guide to the New Update

A new day, a new app update. Most of them don’t attract quite as much attention as Snapchat’s recent upgrade though.

Snap map allows people to see your location. It’s a bit like “find my friends” except slightly creepier as strangers can pinpoint your location to the metre. IMG_3778

It’s been all over the news in relation to concerns that Snapchat aren’t doing enough to protect under 18’s – their biggest user. Picked up by national and local press, parents are being warned to educate themselves on the privacy issues it might cause for their children.

Age aside however, it’s an update that potentially spells trouble for individuals who use Snapchat as one of their content channels, too. Why? Because you’ve spent however many weeks or months asking strangers on the internet to follow you on snapchat and now they can actually follow you on snapchat.

How to find the Snap Map

I thought I had been immune to this update. I couldn’t see any icon saying “map” and thought – phew! Dodged that one!

Not so.

Turns out you access the snap map by opening your camera and then pinching the camera screen, like you’re trying to zoom out.

Snapchat describes it helpfully as “like this 👌

BAM. Welcome to Snap Map.

Enabling Ghost Mode

This is actually pretty simple the first time you log into snap map. You tap ‘Only Me’ and your figure will come up like a little ghost. Nice.

If you panicked when you opened it for the first time, you can tap the little cog button and go into your settings to manually slide ghost mode on. Stealthy.

Finding your friends on the Snap Map

You have to be mutual friends to see each other’s location. Snapchat says “by default, only friends you’ve added on Snapchat can contact you directly or view your Story.”

Of course if you’re using Snapchat as a way to grow your followers, chances are you’ll have a lot of friends, so the selection tool will be quite handy.

You can also tap on their chats and it’ll come up with their location (because WhatsApp’s ‘last seen’ wasn’t stalker-y enough for us.)


Cool features of Snap Map

Once you get past the creeped-out stage though, Snap Map is pretty awesome! You can swipe around the map and double tap into hot spots (marked like a heat sensor, the ‘hottest’ regions are red and show the most activity) and then find out what people are posting to their Story in that location.

I mean, the first thing you’ll do is probably check out Snaps in your area (I literally pinpointed my road in London and watched a story about someone complaining about the loudness of their next door neighbour’s dishwasher) but you could also see what’s happening in – I don’t know – Sweden.

Pretty cool, huh?


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