Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

This week Snapchat put itself back in the running to be the coolest social media app. Released Wednesday, Snapchat’s new feature, Snap Map, connects you with your friends in a fresh and unique way. This interactive map allows you to see where in the world your friends are. Ever had someone post a cool-looking spot with no way to discover where the picture was taken? Now, thanks to Snap Map, you’ll know. Even better — thanks to the newly created Actionmojis, a Bitmoji doing an activity — you can get an idea of what they’re doing there.

"This map isn’t about where am I, it’s about where are my friends and what are they up to? It’s not about figuring out how to get to your destination, but about discovering where you want to go," Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap Inc., told Refinery29. He continues to explain where part of the inspiration for Snap Map came from, "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."

Well, what if you don’t want everyone to see what you’re doing and where you’re doing it? How do you disable Snap Map? Unlike most new features we download these days, Snap Map can be disabled one of two ways.

Disable Snap Map

To begin, in order to even start using Snap Map, you personally have to turn it on. Also, your location settings must be set to public, and you must post a story to "our story" instead of "my story." But, if you’re using Snap Map, and want to stop, there are two ways to do it.

1. Turn On Ghost Mode

As a first step, you can do what Snapchat is calling, "ghost mode." When you choose this feature, your Bitmoji will disappear from the map and no longer be visible to any of your friends. It’s important to note that you can also make your Snap Map Bitmoji available to select friends. Once you access your Snap Map, tap the settings button in the upper right-hand corner to choose which type of mode you’d like.

2. Turn Off Location Services

If ghosting isn’t enough for you, turn off your location services and disconnect. To use Snap Map, you will have had to turn it on in settings, so just return there to turn it off.

While the idea of constantly keeping up with your friends and their travels sounds appealing, if Snap Map doesn’t give you enough privacy, using one of those options could be ideal. As always social media is for enjoyment and should make you comfortable. Continue to snap away.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Although Snapchat’s controversial map defaults to turned off, some people who turned it on at this stage now want to turn it off.

If turned on, the map shows your location, along with you bitmoji – Snapchat’s digital version of you, to everyone you have on the app.

During the set up though you can opt out completely, or tone down the settings to hide your location while still allowing you to lurk on others.

We’ve created this quick bullet-point guide showing the two ways to change their settings.

From the Snapchat Map

  1. Touch the settings cog in the top right of the screen.
  2. Select Ghost Mode to hide your location. You can also hit Select Friends … to pick and chose which friends can see you.

From the main screen

  1. Open Snapchat.
  2. Touch the icon – usually your face if you have bitmoji set up, or the Snapchat ghost in the top left corner.
  3. Touch the settings cog in the top right of the screen.
  4. Scroll down the settings page until you find the section Who Can …
  5. Tap See My Location
  6. Select Ghost Mode to hide your location. You can also hit Select Friends … to pick and chose which friends can see you.

These steps only stop your location appearing on Snapchats map, the app however, will continue to track your location for a number of reasons including location based geofilters.

Snapchat have created a Parents Guide, as well as a Safety Center to help advise parents and educators about the app and its features.

In a statement released by the company, a spokesperson said: ““The safety of our community is very important to us and we want to make sure that all Snapchatters, parents and educators have accurate information about how the Snap Map works.

“With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional.

“Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time.

“It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”

Snapchat’s launching a new live sharing functionality that will enable users to share their location, in real time, with chosen connections via the Snap Map.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

As you can see in these screenshots, the new Live Location option enables you to share your location with a chosen friend, or friends, for 15 minutes, an hour or 8 hours at a time, providing a direct way to enable them to keep tabs on where you’re at. Live location is displayed in your private chat window with your chosen connection, with a timer at the top of the map display counting down the sharing time.

To be clear, Snap users have been able to share their location in Snap Map since the map function was launched back in 2017, which provides a general indicator of where you are while you’re logged in to the app. But this new option is more specific, enabling more granular tracking of a user’s real-time movements in the app.

Which sounds slightly concerning, right?

Well, yes and no.

For one, users will have the option to pause location tracking without sending a notification at any time, so there are privacy considerations built-in. The function is also, logically, switched off by default, while you also can’t share your real-time location with all of your Snap friends at once, only your chosen connections, one-by-one, via each friend’s profile.

The concept is envisioned as a means to keep young people, in particular, safe. Snap has partnered with It’s On Us , a nonprofit which is focused on stopping campus sexual assault , for the launch of the option, and the hope is that by enabling Snap users to share their location in the app as they make their way back home, or back to their dorm, the added security of having chosen friends track their steps will help to improve personal security.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Which could be hugely beneficial, especially given the widespread usage of Snap among younger audiences.

But there are also risks. Domineering partners could force their significant other to share their location in the app, and if you do let the wrong person track your whereabouts, that could, of course, be problematic.

Snap’s hoping to avoid such by giving users control over who can see their activity, but there are potential side effects that could see it used in a negative way.

I guess, these risks are outweighed by the potential benefits. There are also, of course, other apps available that provide tracking options like this, but they would not be as readily accessible as Snap, which many people already have on their devices.

Time will tell if this gets used in a negative way, but conceptually, it should help to provide a means for people to keep tabs on their vulnerable friends, and ensure they get home safe.

Snap users will be able to activate Live Location via friends’ profiles in the app, where you’ll be able to choose how long each specific friend will be able to see your location.

Snapchat recently released a new Snap Map feature that allows users to see their friends’ locations via an in-app map, but for some, the update poses a privacy concern.

For social media users who would prefer to keep their location under wraps, the app has offered a ghost mode setting that will prevent their whereabouts from being shared.

Using Snap Map is as easy as a pinch, literally. When the app opens in camera mode, make a pinching motion with your thumb and index finger on the screen.

The first time users open the new feature, they’ll be given the option to choose between three privacy settings: ghost mode, meaning only you will see your own location on the map; my friends, meaning anyone you’re mutual friends with will see your location; or select friends, meaning you can choose specific people to share your location with.

Privacy settings can still be changed even after the initial set up by clicking the gear icon on the upper right corner of the app screen.

Aside from friends’ locations, the Snap Map feature also shows user-generated stories submitted at popular attractions and landmarks, such as Disney World and Legoland, or at breaking-news type events.

Note that even if you are using ghost mode, your Snap can still appear on a location-based story if you submit it through the app.

Users who come across inappropriate content on the Snap Map can report it to administrators by pressing and holding the offensive Snap until a flag icon pops up in the bottom left corner.

Then chose an option as to why the Snap should be removed, whether it contains nudity, hate speech, violence or violates the terms of service in another way.

More information on how to use the new Snap Map feature is highlighted in the video below.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat is continuing its busy week of announcing new features, this time with its eyes on Apple’s Find My network. Snap has announced a new real-time location sharing feature, which it says is designed to be used as a “buddy system” of sorts. This is an expansion of Snapchat’s incredibly popular Snap Map feature that launched back in 2017.

Snapchat’s new Live Location feature is described as a way to share your precise location with “trusted friends and family.” In the past, the Snap Map feature has only showed approximate location, and that location information only updates when the Snapchat user opens the app, not in the background.

To address potential privacy issues, Snapchat has implemented a handful of different safeguards to prevent stalking and harassment. First off, the Live Location feature is not meant to be enabled on a 24/7 basis. Instead, the company says that you can enable live location sharing with trusted contacts for as short of a time period as 15 minutes, or as long as 8 hours.

Additionally, the feature is disabled by default and users can also pause location sharing without sending a notification to the other person. There is also no option to share Live Location with all of your Snapchat friends. Instead, it must be enabled on a friend-by-friend basis. Again, the company emphasizes that you should only use the feature for “trusted friends and family.”

Snapchat is pitching this as a “buddy system” feature of sorts. For instance, you can share your location with a trusted friend when you’re on your way home from a night out. Your friend can watch your location in the Snapchat app while you make your way home, then Live Location sharing can be turned off altogether (via The Verge).

You can find the new Live Location option by going to a friend’s profile in the Snapchat app. This is where you can enable location sharing with that friend. Just make sure you’re running the latest version of the Snapchat app from the App Store.

This is a notable new feature for Snapchat, even if it’s somewhat limited in scope due to privacy protections and concerns. The existing Snap Map feature is used by more than 250 million Snapchat users per month, so it’s notable to see the company expanding on its location feature. Apple also operates its vast Find My network, which also enables real-time live location sharing between friends and family members.

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Snapchat now lets you share your live location with specific contacts. Here’s what to know about the feature.

Image Credit: Souvik Banerjee/Unsplash

Snapchat is giving you one more way of ensuring that you and your friends are safe after a night out or while out on a date.

The company is adding a temporary live location sharing feature to its Snap Map to ensure that you and your friends make it home safely by tracking each other's movements until you get to your intended destination.

Continue reading to find out how Snapchat's live location sharing feature works and how it could help to keep you and your friends safe.

Snapchat Adds Live Location Sharing to Snap Map

Snapchat has announced a live location-sharing feature, which is an expansion of the app's Snap Map feature. The live location sharing feature will work as a buddy system to help friends keep track of each other's movements for safety purposes.

For this safety feature, Snapchat has partnered with It’s On Us, a national nonprofit program centered around stopping sexual assault on campus.

Location sharing is not completely new to the app. You already have the option to see someone's last location on Snapchat, but this feature only shows your approximate location and only updates your location information when you open the app.

How Snapchat's Live Location Sharing Feature Works

Snapchat’s live location sharing feature allows you to share your exact location with close friends and family in real-time. This lets specific contacts keep tabs on you by tracking your movements until you get to your destination or until you feel safe enough to stop sharing.

Much like Apple's "Find My" feature, users have to mutually opt into live location sharing in order to use it, which means you have to be friends with whoever you choose to share your live location with.

Similar to WhatsApp's live location sharing feature, you can share your live location on Snapchat for a set period of time—either 15 minutes, one hour, or even eight hours. The feature is turned off by default and there is no option to share your live location with all your friends on Snapchat.

To enable live location sharing, you'll have to go to your friend’s profile and choose how long you'd like to share your live location with them. You can keep tabs on the status of the live location sharing in the chat window with that friend.

How Snapchat's Live Location Sharing Will Keep Users Safe

Snapchat's live location sharing gives you the assurance that someone is watching your live movements to ensure that you are safe and headed in the direction you should be going.

Because your location is shared in real-time, your friends will always know where you are, as long as you don't stop sharing your location. And should they have any concerns, they can contact you to make sure that you're safe.

This feature can come in handy when you leave a friend's place to go home, when you go out on a date with a stranger, or when you're out late.

Live Location Privacy Features

Snapchat gives you control over how you use its live location feature so that you're comfortable with when and how often your friends and family are able to track you, and for the sake of your privacy.

You can pause sharing your live location without alerting the friend that is tracking you. The temporary nature of the feature ensures that no one is able to track you all day, every day, unless you continue sharing it again every time it shops sharing.

Finally, the fact that you can only share your live location with users that you are friends with on the app means that no one else can start tracking your movements without your consent.

Should You Share Your Live Location on Snapchat?

It is not necessary to share your live location on Snapchat if you and your friends already use other apps with similar features, like iOS' "Find My" app, and WhatsApp's live location sharing feature.

However, if you and your friends prefer to track each other on the app, then it makes sense to use the feature.

The point is that Snapchat's live location sharing is not an entirely new or groundbreaking feature, so whether you should use it or not depends on your preference.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

With the Find My Friends app and Facebook’s Nearby Friends, there are plenty of potentially creepy ways for people—friends and otherwise—to pinpoint your exact location. Snapchat’s Snap Map is the newest addition to this tech privacy trend.

“Snap Map” is a new feature that uses your phone’s GPS sensor to display your location, and only locates you while you are using the app. You can share your location with all friends, select friends, or none at all. Opting into the feature allows users to see snaps that are part of the “Our Group” stories, which are used for public events like concerts, breaking news events, and more. But your location is updated every time you open the app, not just when you share to “Our Stories.”

Snap Map has raised privacy concerns since it was released, particularly among parents and school administrators, but also among people who’d rather not have their friends be able to locate them whenever they want. As the Verge explained, users may not realize it can allow other people to easily pinpoint their home address, for example.

If you opted into the maps feature and are now rethinking it, here’s how to turn it off.

  • Open Snap Map from the Snapchat home screen by pinching your fingers from the outside of the frame in toward the middle
  • Press the cog icon in the upper righthand corner (across from the “Search” bar)
  • Select “Ghost Mode” — Your location is not shared. If you want to turn location settings off entirely, go to the settings menu on your phone and change the permissions (Doing that though will affect other Snapchat features, like the beloved filters)

The only other way to get out of Snap Maps? Delete your account and start a new one — and don’t opt in the next time it asks.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated who can see your location in Ghost Mode.

An explanation of the various location privacy options for Snapchat’s Snap Map feature, including Ghost Mode and how to easily enable it.

In the current world where most people carry GPS-enabled smartphones with them everywhere, it’s reassuring to find that Snapchat offers Ghost Mode, a feature that ensures its users an extra level of privacy. Many users of the popular social media app may not be aware of the Snap Map feature, and the risk it can create for those who are not monitoring their privacy settings.

Snap Map was introduced in 2017 as a means to share Snaps worldwide through “Our Story.” An additional function of this feature allows users to share their location with friends in real time when using the app. Their Bitmoji appears on a map allowing others to view their Snaps, stories, friends, and places – whatever is live and available at that given time.

While Snap Map offers new and creative ways for friends to connect and communicate, there are risks present in location sharing if a user is unaware of their privacy settings. For instance, if a user has their settings set to share with everyone, then their location is marked on the Snap Map to anyone who comes across their name, Bitmoji, story etc. This could be a friend, a friend of a friend, or a complete stranger. Luckily, Snapchat recognized this potential threat from the get-go and offers several privacy options to keep its user locations as private as they like, the most elusive being Ghost Mode.

How To Enable Ghost Mode For Extra Privacy

Snapchat users may shriek at the thought of their exact location being shared worldwide, and for all to see at this very moment. However, there’s a quick an easy way to ghost everyone for those who value their privacy (or at the very least, the right to control it). Ghost Mode is a full privacy mode that makes your presence on the Snap Map visible to you alone. No one else can see where you are, not even your Snapchat friends.

To enable this feature tap your Bitmoji in the top-left corner of the camera screen and scroll down to the Snap Map. Next, tap the gear icon in the top right corner to open settings. Lastly, turn Ghost Mode on. When you choose to enable Ghost Mode, you’ll notice that a window pops up with various timer options, including three hours, twenty-four hours, or “until turned off.” The timer allows you to choose how long you want to stay off the grid, whether it’s just to lay low for a few hours or vanish for the foreseeable future.

There are more relaxed privacy settings also available beneath Ghost Mode in the Snap Map settings window. Users can choose to share with all of their Snapchat friends – this includes any additional friends added in the future, but not people who have added you as a friend that you haven’t added back. Another option available is to share with friends, but with exceptions. In this mode, you can choose specific Snapchat friends to exclude from seeing your location. The last option is to choose specific friends. In this mode, only the friends you explicitly choose will be able to view your location. As a result, there are plenty of ways to ensure Snapchat only reveals to others, what you want the smartphone app to reveal.

Snapchat’s Snap Map, which allows users to access public posts associated with specific locations, was met with understandable criticism when it first rolled out in 2017. Although the feature was originally marketed as a way to see posts uploaded to Our Story — something that proved useful in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — the fact that the app was sharing your location whenever you opened it was kind of swept under the rug.

Further reading

Besides the obvious dangers this feature could pose for younger users or those unfamiliar with the capabilities of location-sharing, who really wants their friends (or parents for that matter) knowing where they are at all times? Many users likely enabled the feature when posting to Our Story for the first time, without realizing exactly how much access they were giving the app. Thankfully, we’ve outlined how to disable the Snap Map below, as well as ways to limit who can see your location if you wish to keep it enabled.

How does Snap Map work exactly?

If you’ve enabled the feature, your location will be updated on the Snap Map whenever you open Snapchat. Precise location data will only be displayed for a short period of time, but general location data may be retained for longer (although it’s unclear exactly how long these periods are). If you tap on a friend’s Bitmoji on the map, you’ll see when their location was last updated. This also reflects the last time they opened the app, and they can do the same for you. Locations will remain on the map for up to eight hours, assuming you don’t open the app again during that time period. If more than eight hours have passed since you last opened the app, your location will disappear from the map until the next time you do.

You can also tap hotspots, colorful points on the map that indicate activity, to see the public posts in that area. You can zoom in and out of the map, too, like you would with any dedicated navigation app. You may also see sponsored events or newsworthy stories with a short description next to them, which you can click to access associated Snaps.

Enabling Ghost Mode

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

If you don’t like the idea of your friends knowing exactly where you are at all times (and who would?), you can enable Ghost mode, which will prevent your location from being updated on the map. You can still post to Our Story with Ghost Mode enabled, but it will give you the peace of mind that no one is following your every move. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open Snapchat

First, launch the Snapchat app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. If you’re not already logged in, enter your email and password before opening the camera portion of the app.

Step 2: Find the Snap Map

Using two fingers, pinch in toward the center of your screen to access the Snap Map.

Step 3: Open settings and toggle Ghost Mode on

To access your Settings, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your screen. Afterward, toggle the slide beside Ghost Mode, which should be the first item in the resulting list.

With Ghost Mode enabled, your friends won’t be able to see your location on the map. You will still be able to see your own avatar, but it will be holding a blue Snapchat logo in front of its face to indicate that other users can’t see it. Keep in mind that you can turn Ghost Mode off at any time by following the same steps.

Editing your privacy settings

If you’re comfortable periodically sharing your location, you can still limit the people who have access to your data. Under Ghost Mode in your Settings is a section titled Who Can See My Location. Whichever option has a blue check mark next to it, is the option you currently have selected. My Friends refers to all the users you’ve added on Snapchat who have also added you back. My Friends, Except allows you to select certain friends you wish to hide your location from, and Only These Friends lets you select the mutual friends who will have access to your location data.

Pick whichever option you’re more comfortable with, or follow the steps above to prevent your location from being shared altogether.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat usually tracks your location to be able to serve you geo-location filters that you can show off to your followers, but a recent update has meant that now your followers can see your exact location at all times.

Some people are worried because the new Snap Maps feature shares your location with everyone you follow, but it’s not as scary as it may sound.

There are clear concerns that it will allow you to find out when your friends or family are lying about their location and it may cause some serious tension and an urge to check up on your loved ones locations.

But you’ll have to opt-in to be able to use Snap Maps, plus it’s an easy enough feature to turn off or make sure only some people can see where you are. Read on below to find out how to use Snap Maps.

Am I already using Snap Maps?

Technically you’ll have to opt-in for Snap Maps to work, which is the good news.

You’ll need to have the latest version of the app installed and then pinch on the home screen to activate Snap Maps.

Then you’ll be greeted with a number of notifications asking you to sign up to the Snap Maps part of the app. If you pinch on the home screen and see a similar screenshot to the one below then you aren’t already signed up to Snap Maps.

How to turn off Snap Maps

If you’ve already opted in to the Snap Maps service and don’t want to be on it anymore, it’s a simple process to take yourself off Snapchat’s tracking feature.

To access Snap Maps you’ll need to pinch the screen in the main Snapchat menu where you can see what your front or back camera is shooting. Pinch with two fingers here and you’ll be pulled out to your location on a map.

In the top right hand corner you’ll then see a cog icon, which is the Settings menu for Snap Maps. If you press here that will then show you an option called Ghost Mode.

If you toggle that on, it will delete your last known location and make sure no-one can see your future locations either. That doesn’t mean Snapchat won’t be able to see your location though.

To ensure Snapchat can’t see your location, you’ll need to head to the Settings menu of your Android or iOS device and make sure the app doesn’t have permission to see where you are.

However, if you take this away you won’t be able to use some Snapchat features.

How to turn Snap Maps back on

If you want to go back to using the feature, you can access the same Settings menu within Snap Maps and then turn off Ghost Mode. It will then log your current location and share it again with your friends.

How to change who can see your Snap Maps

When using Snap Maps you can actually decide who exactly can see your location. You have the choice of everyone you’re friends with on Snapchat or you can select particular friends.

You can do this all in the Select Friends menu, found on the same settings screen as Ghost Mode, where you can tap on the people you’d like to share with. It means you can hide your location from those you don’t know very well but still share it with those close to you.

If you need to disappear completely for a little while, you can then just use Ghost Mode for that, but you’ll need to remember to do that otherwise you’ll be sharing your location with selected friends, even if it’s a secret from others.

  • Done with Snapchat altogether? Here’s how to delete your Snapchat account

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He’s currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat has temporarily disabled its heat map in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country. Russia could have used the feature to plot military attacks by identifying areas with high concentrations of Ukrainians.

Snapchat announced the change in a tweet Friday.

“As a safety precaution we have temporarily disabled the Snap Map’s heatmap of public Snaps in Ukraine,” the company said. “We will continue to offer curated Stories comprised of Snaps submitted in Ukraine.”

Typically, Snapchat users around the world can submit their Snaps to the heat map, which shows the concentration of Snaps taken by location. Areas that appear blue on the map indicate that relatively few people posted Snaps in the area, whereas red areas on the map indicate that many people posted Snaps there.

Earlier this week, Snapchat also halted ad sales to Russia and announced it will donate $15 million in humanitarian aid to support Ukraine.

“We stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian team members and the people of Ukraine who are fighting for their lives and for their freedom,” the company said in a blog post Tuesday announcing the news. “War is a scourge on our collective humanity, and in this case, it is a direct threat to many of our team members and their families. We are praying for their safety and for peace.”

Other tech companies have also begun cracking down on Russia for its attack on Ukraine.

Apple said this week it has halted all product sales in Russia and is removing the apps for state media outlets RT News and Sputnik News from the App Store. Meanwhile, Twitter announced it’s adding labels to tweets linking to Russian state-affiliated media sites.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

While it’s sometimes convenient to let everyone know where you are, there may come times when you want more privacy.

In the location Settings on the Snapchat app, you can enable Ghost Mode so that no one can see where you are. This will make it so you don’t appear on the Snapchat Map, hiding your location from friends and followers.

Additionally, you can override these app settings altogether by heading to your iPhone or Android’s settings. There, you can turn off location services for Snapchat, which will trump any settings in the app.

Here’s how to turn off location tracking on Snapchat for both iPhone and Android devices.

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How to turn off location tracking on Snapchat

1. Open the Snapchat app on your iPhone or Android device and tap on your profile icon in the upper-left corner

2. Tap on the settings gear icon in the upper-right corner.

3. Scroll down to the “Who Can. ” section and tap “See My Location.” The default setting is for only your friends to see your location.

4. In your location settings page, you’ll find options to change the “My Friends” default to “My Friends, Except…” or “Only These Friends…” Tap either of those options to select names from your Snapchat contact list.

5. To enable Ghost Mode so no one can see your location, tap the switch at the top of the screen. A pop-up will appear that allows you to choose a duration. You can turn this on temporarily, but if you’d like to turn it on indefinitely, select “Until Turned Off.”

6. Return to Snapchat’s main page, where your camera is on and you can take pictures or videos. Swipe down to open the Map.

7. Your location will be marked with a blue-and-white Snapchat ghost if you’re currently private. This will let you know that you successfully turned off location tracking. You can now tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner to jump straight back to the location settings page. (Snapchat may even point it out to you with a pop-up that reads, “Share your location with select friends!”)

You can also skip all of this by simply revoking Snapchat’s location permissions. For information on how to do this, check out our articles on how to turn off location tracking on both iPhone devices and Android devices.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat announced earlier this year that it would add Layers to Snap Map, making the social product more interactive. Today, the app is launching its first two layers: Memories and Explore.

The Snap Map has been used to show people where their friends are currently located (if they opt-in to location sharing), interesting places to visit and which areas are most popular among Snapchatters. Memories will show you old Snapchats that you sent from particular places — so, if you browse your map and zoom in on Central Park, you might find a picture you took last year of a cute dog in the park. Memories are private and only available to the individual user — you can’t see friends’ memories.

Explore reimagines the heat map, which shows activity by relative volume on the Snap Map. You can tap on highlighted regions to see public photos and videos submitted by Snapchat users around the world.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Image Credits: Snapchat

These layers are designed to make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for, rather than crowding a ton of information into one map. Snap’s partners like Ticketmaster and The Infatuation are also developing layers, which would show users where nearby events are happening, or which restaurants are most popular among Snapchatters. The app also added a My Places feature this summer, which recommended to users places to visit based on where they’ve been, where their friends have been and which places other Snapchat users visit most.

To access Layers, users can navigate to the Snap Map and tap the button for a Layers menu in the upper-right corner of the map. Then, they can toggle between various layers to access what they’re looking for.

Maggie Tillman, US contributing editor

· Updated 18 February 2022 ·

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

– Here's everything you need to know

(Pocket-lint) – Snap has a new section in Snapchat, called Spotlight, which is designed to surface TikTok-like viral videos from users.

What is Snapchat Spotlight and how does it work?

Spotlight is a new dedicated tab in the Snapchat app. The videos – or Spotlight snaps – surfaced in this section are up to 60 seconds long.

When you tap into Spotlight, you’ll see Spotlight snaps based on what Snapchat’s algorithm thinks you want to see (likely influenced by what you’ve viewed in the past and how long you’ve watched). Keep in mind Snapchat already allows users to submit their snaps to a Snap Map location for anyone to peek at any given time or place. Contrary to how that feature is generally used, Spotlight is specifically designed for viral, TikTok-like videos.

However, unlike TikToks, Spotlight snaps won’t feature a public comments section, and users’ profiles are private by default.

Snapchatters can, therefore, keep their accounts from public view while still posting content in Spotlight. In fact, anyone can submit their snaps to Spotlight for others to view; you just have to tap “Spotlight” when posting to send it to the section. Snap said it’s even paying some creators to post – promising to fork over $1 million between the most popular creators on the app per day until 2021.

Snap said it’ll send a message to you directly via Team Snapchat if you’ve earned, along with a link to a third-party payments provider (Hyperwallet).

How to post a Spotlight snap

Spotlight snaps are a type of snap that a user can send to the new Spotlight section.

You capture them like any other snap (there’s a how-to here), but instead of sending them to a friend or to your story, you send them to Spotlight. Snap said Spotlight snaps should be vertical videos with sound. If you attempt to send still-image photos, horizontal Snaps, blurry Snaps, or text-only snaps, they won’t show up in Spotlight.

Create a Spotlight snap

  1. Open the latest version of the Snapchat mobile app.
  2. Press and hold the Camera button to create a video snap.
  3. Tap the toggle button to switch between the selfie and rear-facing camera.
    • You can also double-tap the screen to switch cameras!
  4. Tap the lightning bolt button to enable or disable flash.
  5. Stop holding the Camera button to end your recording.

Send a Spotlight snap

  1. Create a snap (see above).
  2. Tap the Snapchat send icon at the bottom to go to the Send To screen.
  3. Select ‘Spotlight’ at the top of the ‘Send To’ screen.

Snap recommends you add a #topic on the Send To page so others can join in or explore more Snaps like yours, and that you use creative tools like captions, sounds, lenses, or GIFs to make your snaps stand out. You can send snaps from your Camera Roll or Memories, but Snap has told users it wants to “see your best stuff”. It may also limit how many snaps you can submit to Spotlight within a certain window of time.

Snap has a guide here that walks you through the creative tools you can use to make a Spotlight snap. It even details how to delete a Spotlight snap.

How to find Spotlights

It’s easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Snapchat mobile app.
  2. From the main camera screen, swipe right to left twice.
  3. The first swipe will bring you to Stories. The second swipe is Spotlight.
  4. Once in Spotlight, swipe up to load new videos.
  5. On the side of a Spotlight video, you’ll see options to:
    • Bookmark the video for later.
    • Like the video.
    • Send the video.
    • Menu to access details like sound and the creator profile.

The search icon at the top of Spotlight also lets you search Snapchat for more Spotlights by hashtags.

Are there any Spotlight snap examples?

You can see examples of Spotlight snaps in Snap’s announcement tweet:

This handy guide could save you from any data loss.

The best of Snapchat. Sit back and take it all in, or submit your video Snaps and you could earn a share of more than $1,000,000 a day. Happy Snapping!

— Snapchat (@Snapchat) November 23, 2020

Where is Snapchat Spotlight available?

At launch, Snapchat is available in 11 countries: the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and Sweden.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Although Snapchat’s newest feature – Snap Map – is a really cool addition to the app, it has not been well received by many due to the alarmingly serious security and privacy concerns that it raises.

If you went through the tutorial after the app update and didn’t think twice about it, we highly recommend you continue reading to safeguard your self. So what makes it so terrible, and how can you get rid of it? Read on.

What is Snap Map?

Think Google Maps, but with icons showing where your friends are. That’s what Snap Map is. Since Snapchat has access to your phone’s location services to help provide geofilters, it knows your exact location. It even makes use of Actionmojis, cartoon caricatures based on Bitmoji, to show the kind of activity you’re doing.

With Snap Map, that location is being shared to everyone in your Snapchat circle. That means your friends don’t just know what city or neighbourhood you’re in, but can see exactly where you are. This location is refreshed every time you open the app, so you don’t even need to add a new Snap to reveal your location.

As you can surmise, the privacy fallout of such a feature is beyond crazy. If you open Snapchat while on a stroll through the park, your friends can see where you are. Do so at a friend’s house party, and everyone knows where they live now. If you’ve got a large following of people you don’t know well personally, then this starts to get a little worrying.

How to disable/ turn off Snap Map

For what it’s worth, Snapchat runs through a short tutorial of how the feature works, and then asks you to choose whom to share it with: only yourself, all your friends, or a select bunch.

If you went with the first option, you’re already all set. But if you chose from one of the two other options, and don’t want everyone knowing where you are anymore, follow these steps.

Here’s how you can turn off Snapchat’s Snap Map:

  1. Open Snapchat.
  2. From the camera screen, use two fingers to pinch in as if you’re zooming out on a map. This opens the map.
  3. On the Snap Map, tap the gear icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Under Settings, enable Ghost Mode.

That’s it. Your Snapchat friends won’t be able to see you in Snap Map anymore.You’ll still be able to see your friends’ locations though. If you care about their privacy, you should tell them to disable it as well.

Do you’ve any other questions about Snap Map? Share them via the comments below.

For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

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Today Snapchat introduced a new feature, the ‘Snap Map’.

This location based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends.

How to access Snap Maps

To access the Snap Map in the latest update of the Snapchat app, users need to go to their camera screen within Snapchat and zoom out using two fingers. This will then launch the Snap Maps screen and will allow a user to see their friend’s locations.

Choose who can see your location

It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.

Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat – giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map – we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.

There are three settings for sharing your location on the map, these are; Ghost mode, My Friends, and Select Friends. But what do these settings mean?

  • Ghost Mode
    Ghost Mode means that you are the only person who can see your location on the map.
    Within Ghost Mode you can still see the locations of your friends but they will be unable to see you. This setting will ensure that you have complete control over who knows your location.
  • My Friends
    My Friends means that all of your contacts on Snapchat can see your location. If turning on this setting then it would be important for users to review their Snapchat contacts and also make sure that they never add someone they don’t know in person onto Snapchat.
  • Select Friends
    This setting allows users to look through their friend list and then decide which of their friends they want to be able to view their location. This setting gives users the opportunity to control who can view their location.

Changing settings

When first opening the Snap Map users get to make a decision of who they want to be able to view their location. Once these settings are in place they can always be changed in Snapchat’s settings. This can be done in two ways:

  1. In the Snapchat settings
    In the Snapchat screen click on the Settings (cog) icon> click on ‘see my location’ > Choose the setting which suits you
  2. On the Snap Map
    Click on the setting button in the top right of the map > choose the setting which suits you

Our top tips

Sharing location can be a risky thing to do. Our tips for location sharing are:

  • Only share your location with people you know in person. Never share your location with strangers.
  • Don’t add contacts to Snapchat if you don’t know them in person.
  • Regularly review your settings and take an active decision about whether you want people to know your location. Remember you can switch this off at any time. Think about where you’re sharing your location. Location services such as Snap Maps can lead people to your house. Think about what times you’re on the app and whether these are locations you want to share – if not, then turn this off within your settings.

For more information about the other latest features on Snapchat read our latest blogs:

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Some will find Snapchat’s latest feature a bit stalkerish and creepy. Here is how to turn it off and preserve your privacy.

Hands up. I admit it. I’m not really of the Snapchat generation.

Somehow or another I manage to make my way through daily life without feeling the need to chat with online friends through the incredibly popular (apart from in my house) smartphone app.

Frankly, I’m worried – rightly or wrongly – that there might be something a little bit wrong about a man in his late-forties using Snapchat. I don’t know if I’m missing something important in my life by never having found a need for Snapchat, but I do recognise that many millions of people use it many times a day.

Which makes me somewhat concerned about a new feature that was introduced into Snapchat last week: Snap Map.

Maybe when you read about the new Snap Map functionality or saw the accompanying video, you thought it was fairly innocuous. Maybe you even imagined that the feature looked quite fun.

However, when I checked out the above Snapchat video on YouTube it had twice as many dislikes as thumbs-up.

Why? Well, my guess is that a fair number of people find Snapchat’s new Snap Map a creepy feature that could erode their privacy.

If you just watched the Snap Map promotional video, you might believe that Snapchat was only sharing users’ location when they tagged their location in Snaps they post to “Our Story”, but the truth is that your location is being monitored and broadcast constantly, as long as you have the app open or are actively using it.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Understandably, there are concerns that users will enable Snap Map’s sharing of their location without properly understanding how the system works, and its implications. Those concerns are heightened when one considers that typically Snapchat is used by younger smartphone users.

As Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports, the likes of Preston police force have warned via social media of the potential risks to children and teenagers:

For all the snapchat users on here, in the last few days they have released a new update which connects to your GPS, and automatically (unless activated ghost mode) shows where you are on a map to anyone who is on your friends list and posts can possibly seen publically depending on your settings!!

…Obviously this may cause concern for certain users, particularly those who have young children who use the app.

The concerns are shared by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC):

“It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing under 18s to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone in their contact lists.”

“With public accounts, this will include those who are not known to the user. This highlights why it’s vital children are automatically offered safer accounts on social media to ensure they are protected from unnecessary risks.”

The answer, of course, is to prevent Snap Map from broadcasting your location and perhaps be a little bit more choosy about who you add to your friends list.

Enter the Snap Map feature by going to your camera screen, and pinching your fingers as if you are zooming out from a photograph. Then, click on the settings icon in the top right-hand corner and you should be able to enable “Ghost Mode”.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat will now stop sharing your location.

If you, however, are concerned that the app may introduce more functionality in future which might trick you into unwittingly sharing your location you can go one step further by disabling the Snapchat’s ability to access your smartphone’s location entirely. You can do that by going to your phone’s Location Services’ settings, opening the options for Snapchat and ensuring that the “Location” option is off.

Stay safe everybody, and always be careful about enabling features that may not have been adequately explained to you.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat is working to make Snap Map, the location-based feature to which people can submit photos and videos they want to make publicly available, safer for users in Ukraine.

“As a safety precaution we have temporarily disabled the Snap Map’s ‘heatmap’ of public Snaps in Ukraine,” the company says. “We will continue to offer curated Stories comprised of Snaps submitted in Ukraine.”

Why remove the heatmap from Snap Map in Ukraine? Well, because the feature is used to indicate areas where Snapchat users are publicly sharing a lot of content, and Russia could use that information to determine potential targets during its ongoing invasion of the country.

That’s made all the more likely by the fact that Snap Map doesn’t require a Snapchat account; the web version is freely available to anyone looking for publicly shared content. The only way to prevent that heatmap from being abused is to disable the feature entirely in Ukraine.

Snap Map currently lists Stories for three cities—Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv—in Ukraine. All three feature Snaps posted over a week ago, however, which suggests that Snapchat isn’t highlighting more recent content at this time.

Recommended by Our Editors

UPDATE: Snap tells PCMag that “We are not holding off on sharing recent content from within the Ukraine, but we have seen fewer submissions due to limited connectivity.”

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Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat has started testing a new feature called Status in Snap Maps which lets you check into places, and allows your friends to see what you’re up to.

You can choose a Bitmoji to represent what you’re doing (like playing basketball, working on your laptop, or downing a taco), and build up a list of places you’ve visited in a feature called Passport.

Previously, Snap Maps figured out what you were up to by pulling up a random Bitmoji to represent the time of day and place you’re at. Soon, to the benefit of your bored friends, they’ll be able to see what exactly you’re up to.

The feature was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, and reported by TechCrunch. A Snapchat spokesperson told the publication that Status is currently being tested to a select few users in Australia.

How to use Status

If you have it available, you can access the feature by opening up Snap Maps, and hitting the Status button in the bottom left corner. From there, you can select a from a list of places around you, or type in a custom place.

You’ll be presented with a list of Bitmoji, with activities that correspond to that location (selecting a park would have your character play frisbee, or a café would have you drinking a coffee, for instance).

Once you’ve selected your location, the Bitmoji showing the activity will show up on the map, and a tooltip will tell people where exactly you are.

Your Status will last until you leave the location, and you can also delete it. The location will be added to a private list called Passport, and you can delete locations as you wish.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

As with Snap Maps before, you can choose to share your location with your friends, some friends, or activate Ghost Mode — which means no one can see where you are.

Mashable has reached out to Snapchat for further information.

The new feature comes off the back of Snap turning around its decline in users last year, and looking to a redesign for the Android app. It’s also teased a gaming service, which is set to be announced on Thursday.

Related Video: This song addresses what it's like to grow up surrounded by social media

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Snapchat is one of the innovative software companies out there. Even though other apps have cloned its Stories feature but still face filters on Snapchat are far better. I really love the updates Snapchat brings to their app. This time they have rolled out a feature by the name of Snap Map which we explain in this article. It allows you to see the real-time location of your friends on a map. But if you don’t quite want to get stalked and wish to disable it then use the steps mentioned here to turn off Snap Map on Snapchat for Android and iPhone.

How To Use Snap Map?

Before we proceed ahead to disable your location on Snap Map, let us have a quick look at how to use this cool and unique feature.

  • To make use of Snap Map update to the latest version of the app from the respective app stores.
  • After updating launch the app. For the first time, the app will guide you through the process. To get the map, zoom out by pinching your fingers on the Camera screen.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

  • If the location is enabled on your device then you will see a couple of introductory screens. One of the screens will prompt you to select the users who can see your location. The available options are Ghost Mode, My Friends, Select Friends…
  • All of them are self-explanatory you can select My Friends to share your location with all your friends or Select Friends… to show yourself on Snap Map only to certain friends. Select Friends option is similar to a setting that allows you to block story from certain friends. We will discuss Ghost mode later in the article. Tap on Next after selecting the desired category.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

With this, you will see friends on Snap Map who have shared their location.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Tap on their Bitmoji to chat with them or see their stories if they have uploaded one. There are heat maps are also which shows local stories and events. Amazing to stay updated with the stories ar8ound the world.

Now, let us go ahead and see how you can disable Snap Map.

Turn Off Snap Map On Snapchat

There are two ways with which you can make yourself invisible on Snap Map. One is using the official Snapchat setting and another one is by utilizing the smartphone settings.

1. Ghost Mode

  • Open the Snapchat app and zoom out to get to the Snap Map.
  • On the map screen, tap on Settings(gear icon). It is at the top right corner as of now.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

  • Toggle Ghost Mode switch to ON.

Enabling Ghost Mode makes you invisible on Snap Map to everyone. But you can see the location of others if shared on the map.

2. Disable Location

This setting is a bit aggressive as it will not only stop sharing your location on the map but you won’t be able to see others location as well. The Snap Map feature will not work completely on turning off the location.

If you are fine with that then use the following steps.

  • On iPhone or iPad open the Settings app.
  • Under Settings select Snapchat and select Location on the next screen.
  • In Location select Never.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

This setting will block Snapchat from using the location. Hence, Snap Map will be disabled. Apart from that, you also won’t be able to add location filters to your snaps if the GPS is disabled.


For Android, the steps to disable location for specific apps may vary depending on the phone.

Here are a couple of methods you can try.

Method 1

  • On Android open Settings and select Location.
  • Next, select Snapchat followed by Permissions.
  • Finally, disable access to location services.

Method 2

  • Open Settings and tap on Advanced Settings.
  • Now, select Permissions of App and tap on Snapchat.
  • Finally, tap on GPS Location and select Forbid.

Using the above methods you can turn off Snap Map on Snapchat. You can go for either of the methods depending on what suits you.

We hope you got to know everything about the latest Snap Map feature and how to disable it if desired.

If you found the article informational the don’t forget to share it on social media.

By Marie Black, Editor In Chief | 08 Apr 2020

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat has a now much more easily accessibe feature that lets you track other Snapchat users on a map. You can use the Snap Map to view their snaps, as well as to see featured snaps on sporting events, breaking news and more.

Below we explain how to use Snap Map. If, however, you are concerned about security or stalkers we also explain how to disable Snap Map.

1. Using Snap Map is easy. Just launch the map by tapping the location icon at the bottom left of the screen. If you don’t see this icon, the old method required you to use two fingers to perform a pinch gesture on the screen.

2. The Snap Map should launch automatically, but the first time you use it you’ll be prompted to specify who is able to view your location. Choose Only Me, My Friends or Select Friends, then click Next.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

3. Snapchat will inform you that to add a Snap to the map you just need to add it to ‘Our Story’ rather than ‘My Story’. Click Finish to get started.

4. You’ll see a map of your location, and any friends or featured Snaps nearby are shown in roundels. Just click their avatar or the roundel to view them.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

5. You can also click on the Search icon at the top to find specific Featured Stories.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

6. To later change your location sharing privacy options click the Settings cog at the top of the page. You’ll see the same options here as you did during setup, so enable Ghost mode or choose My Friends or Select Friends.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

7. To add a Snap to the map, tap the usual shutter button to launch the usual Snapchat camera. You can add a filter if you like, then tap the Shutter button to take the photo.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

8. To add your snap to the map tap the send button, then select Our Story.

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Author: Marie Black, Editor In Chief

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Marie has been writing about tech for 15 years. Our resident Xiaomi expert and a follower of all upcoming phones, she is also the go-to for charging tech.

Snapchat came up with the idea of a Snap Map in 2017. Since then, it has been blowing up. Now, users are wondering if people will be notified when their location is viewed. Here’s a look at the recent update.

This feature was added in 2017 to allow users to experience something different. The platform said at that time: “We have built a whole new way to explore the world! See what is happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!” Since then, a number of updates have been made to make the app more user-friendly.

  • TIKTOK: What is Addison Rae’s net worth?

If that TikTok I saw about the location update on snapchat is true I am soooo fucked

— 𝑗𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑎 ♡ (@jennaxchristian) April 11, 2021

Does Snapchat show who looked at your location?

Snapchat does not allow users to be notified if someone looked at their location unless they have created a Snap Map “status”. To put it in simple words, if the snap map has a bitmoji carrying out an activity like drinking, playing a sport, or others, then the user has set a status on their Snap Map.

This status is only active until the person is there in that location. Once the person leaves that location, the status will automatically disappear. If you click on their bitmoji at that time, the user can find out that you have viewed it.

However, if their bitmoji appears to be normal, that is, as per usual, it means they have not put a Snap Map status and will not be notified if you check their location.

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This is a PSA… please turn your locations off on Snapchat to the public or if you are using public wifi . People can just stalk you.

— 💙Patti🧁Cakes💙 (@patticakes422) April 11, 2021

How to choose who can view your location

Snapchat allows you have your privacy and select who you would want to share your location with. It gives you four options – Ghost mode (only you can see your location), my friends, my friends except, and only these friends.

These options allow you to decide who can view your location. To make these changes, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Go to Snapchat settings
  2. Scroll down and select “set my location”
  3. Select the option that best suits you

Can you disable Snap map?

Unfortunately, the Snap Map is a feature of Snapchat, and the platform does not allow you to disable it. However, it does give you the option of going in ghost mode. This will prevent your location from being shared or viewed by anyone.