Snapchat’s Snap Map & Privacy

Are you a Snapchat user, or -more important- is your child a Snapchatter, then please read this. This is about privacy and safety.

What is Snap Map?

Last week Snapchat rolled out a new feature: Snap Map. This map shows where your Snapchat-friends are. And it shows them where you are. It makes it easier for you to look each other up. And it also shows events. Good stuff, right?

Just realize that Snapchat broadcasts your location to anyone on your friends list every time you open the app. And so your friends will learn where you live, work or eat a sandwich/donut/bagle. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, you can switch this off by going into ‘Ghost Mode’. Yes, it is an opt-out feature.

How does it work?

With the most recent update Snap Map will become (or have become) active. You’ll see a couple of screens with info, and bam, it is activated.

Every time you open the app, your location will be broadcasted. While the app is opened your location will be updated. And your last location will remain on the Map for up to 8 hours after you have last opened the Snapchat app.

You can open Snap Map by moving two fingers to each other on the camera screen. It will show a map with your Snapchat friends and snaps by unknowns that might interest you, like a festival. By clicking the avatar of a friend, their Stories will open. Or you can choose to send your Snapchat friend a message, let’s say to meet up.

Snapchat users can choose to broadcast their location to all of their friends, or to a select group. And if you prefer your friends not to know where you are, choose ‘Ghost Mode’.

How to switch it off

Open Snap Map (camera screen, move two fingers to each other) and go to the settings (gear). There you will find ‘Ghost Mode’.

Final thoughts

Just to be clear about this, if you don’t care about your privacy and safety, that’s all up to you. But it can be dangerous, especially for children. So, switch it off.

More info: