Snapchat’s Newest Feature Reveals Your Friends’ Whereabouts In Real Time

Snapchat has billed itself as a way to stay up to date with friends. It’s latest feature, Snap Map, delivers on that premise, at the least.

The tool lets users see where their friends are — and what they’re doing — at any given moment.

The goal, according to a Snap Inc. spokesperson, is to get users to engage with their friends instead of just being bystanders to their activities.

The map shows the location of friends — each illustrated by a so-called Actionmoji — in real time. The Actionmojis are created by Snapchat based on users’ actions at the time they open the app. (If you’re driving, Snap Inc. knows it and so will your friends; same goes for, say, wearing headphones.) The drawings are based on users’ bitmojis, cute caricatures created by a start-up Snap acquired for a reported $100 million.

Users must opt into Snap Maps, and the feature enables them to share locations with only certain friends. Users can temporarily disable the feature by enabling “Ghost Mode.”

The location of Actionmojis update any time Snapchat is running, according to a Snap spokesperson. If a user hasn’t opened the app in a few hours, their location will automatically be removed from the map.

In the map mode, users can also search featured posts or nearby posts and see clusters of them coming from an event, essentially creating a heat map of Snapchat usage nearby.

Read the full article: Latimes

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