Snap Map – Snapchat’s worst decision?

Over the past couple of days Snapchat – the popular picture and video sharing app – released an update with one main new feature, Snap Map.

An example of the new ‘Snap Map’

Snap Map allows users to see the locations of their friends’ last story posts, and also view location based stories by scrolling to that location on the map. From a feature perspective it sounds very interesting, however it also brings with it a number of privacy concerns.

Most people post media to their story from both public places and at home. In public places, the accurate location pinpointing poses very little risk to a persons privacy, however when posting from home it allows anyone on one’s friend list to see the exact street and (depending on the 30ft inaccuracy of GPS) the exact house that you reside in.

If you wish to turn off this feature, it is very easy to do so. On the Snap Map page (pinch together on the camera screen), press the settings cog in the top right and press Ghost mode. This will make you invisible to all of your friends. If you instead want to allow your location to a number of trusted people (family for example), there are options in that menu to do so.

Personally, I believe this would be a great feature, if Snapchat had implemented it correctly (perhaps as an opt-in service), as I would prefer it if the majority of my Snapchat friends didn’t know exactly where I live!

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