Meet SnapMap, SnapChat’s new feature to meet up IRL!

Every time a new feature is added to any social media outlet, the chatter is equal parts buzz and panic. One week ago, SnapChat, very popular amongst teens and Millennials, introduced their newest addition: SnapMap. If you haven’t already, take a moment to watch Snapchat’s intro video above.

This week’s social chatter is exactly as promised. Privacy sensitive users have gone straight into “Ghost” mode while marketers are excited about the promotional possibilities. And if you own a venue of any sort, this app addition may be a dream come true for you, and here’s why…

Imagine the scenario in the video. Friends are out on the town, but they don’t know what to do. By checking out the map, they not only see the location of their friends nearby but also, any “Snaps” those friends have shared. Beyond that, it’s not just friends in the mix. SnapChat has said that they are hoping this makes finding new friends and locations easier by making these posts available to everyone. If a user sees the fun, they want to become part of the fun.

As a parent, my privacy concerns did kick in. My tinies are only using a Kindle at this point or a website hosted by their school with parental supervision. My nieces, however, are in the early parts of teenagerhood and that concerned me, especially after reading this excerpt from The Verge:

“When I first opened Snap Map, I saw the Bitmoji for one of my friends in a residential area. I presumed this was her home and was able to zoom in close enough to estimate where she lived on that particular block. Then I called her. ‘This is a weird question,’ I said, ‘but do you live at the intersection of X and Y? More particularly, one of these addresses?’ I rattled off three house numbers on the street closest to where her Bitmoji appeared on Snap Map. One of them was correct. I’ve never been to her house.”

(To continue reading that article, check out SnapChat SnapMap Privacy Threat)

My house on SnapMapUpon reading that article, I chose to see how accurate this comment was. At first, the Map wasn’t there. If you don’t see it, go to the App Store and check your updates tab. You may need to install that first. Next, it looks simple to pop up that map from the demonstration in the video, but on all of the devices I tried, I found that I needed to start wide from the top left and bottom right corners then pinch. Even doing that, it still takes me a few tries before it pops up. Hopefully they’ll adjust that sensitivity, but for now, know you might get a little frustrated.

Eventually, I did get to the map. Oh, cute! Look, there I am! Then I started to stretch out the screen… stretch out further… oh, crap that shows me in my house. It is not the house number, but it shows my street with the cross streets and all you have to do is count down the houses to find me. Ghost mode on.

I am a member of a SnapChat user group on Facebook, and here were some of their concerns:

“It tracks you real time!!! A Buddy followed me 53 miles yesterday from the app,” said Darryl. If you are in a car, your Bitmoji changes to reflect that and moves along as you go.

Speaking of concerns for children, Ron said, “Now our teenagers are another story, especially our daughters. Ghost mode for them all the way!”

As I mentioned, my nieces are a concern for me, so following all of this investigation, I went straight over to their house and taught them about Ghost Mode and why they would want to use it. If you need help finding that setting, watch the video below.

All of the panic aside, I think there are some very valuable resources here for businesses and I personally can’t wait to use this feature while I’m live broadcasting from Out in the Vineyard’s Gay Wine Weekend! Having the ability to show where you are down to the building is great for creating event buzz.

Look for more marketing ideas coming up. For now, get your privacy in check and “snap” on!

 

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