This week, Snapchat revealed its biggest update since the puppy face filter. The Snap Map feature allows you to find your friends, spy on your crush, and travel the world, all from the comfort of your couch. To make sure you’re making the most of the new function, here are some handy dandy Snap Map hacks (but first, try saying that ten times fast).
Initially, some people thought the new feature was a little creepy — do you really want people to be able to follow your movements in real time? Will everyone be able to see where I live, and how often I go to the Thai place by my house, or that by “home sick” I really meant “skipping your party to go to that Thai place by my house again”?
But this isn’t a glorified Find My Friends. First of all, you have to enable Snap Maps to make it work; and if you change your mind, you can turn on "Ghost Mode" so no one sees where you are. And whereas other apps like Facebook and Instagram encourage you to share your own location, Snapchat designer Jack Brody explained to Refinery29 that Snap Map is a way to figure out where you want to go.
"Interestingly, one of the habits we've seen with our users is that they'll take a snap where they are, put on the geofilter, and post it to their story with a caption like 'hit me up.' They're basically saying come hang out with me here. Then, when they leave there they'll delete that from their story."
And if you do want to share your location? Snap Map includes Actionmojis — essentially Bitmojis with hobbies — that allow you to give your friends an idea of what you're doing, like dancing, ice skating, or sitting on your butt at home.
To find out how to enable Snap Map on your phone, read this. Once you have it, here are some of the ways you can take advantage of this cool new feature.
See what events are happening around you.
Are you stuck at a lame party that you want to escape, but you're not sure where to go next? Have you just finished streaming the most recent season of your favorite Netflix show and you want to get out of the house? Snap Map allows you to see what the people around you are up to. You can see if your friends are enjoying that art exhibit they went to, or discover an impromptu concert people are Snapping a few blocks from you.
Chat with your friends.
Say while looking through the Snap stories in your neighborhood, you notice the Actionmoji of your friend Allison, from high school who lives across the country. By tapping on their Actionmoji, you can start a chat with her and coordinate some time to meet up for drinks, or air all of your grievances with her from sophomore year.
Travel the world without leaving home.
The first thing I did when I downloaded Snap Map (well, the second thing I did after checking in to see what all my friends were up to) was to zoom out and see where the parties were around the world. Sweden is LIT with midsummer parties right now, and I'm not sure what a Snapchat Ferris Wheel is, but I'm extremely here for it.
Be a spy.
As I mentioned before, just because you want to be able to see what your friends are up to doesn't necessarily mean you want everyone to see what you're doing. By using "Ghost Mode" (which you can turn on or off in Snap Map's settings) you can enjoy FOMO from around the world while maintaining your own privacy.
Find hot spots.
Scrolling around the map, you'll notice certain areas glowing blue, yellow, orange, or red. These indicate how many users have submitted Snaps to the shared "Our Story" collection. If a hot spot is glowing especially bright, there might be something interesting going on, like a concert or, in this case, a very important protest.