Social media app Snapchat has just launched an interesting new feature to spice things up after its growth recently slowed 82%, a stat from Josh Constine at TechCrunch. The feature, dubbed Snap Map, updates you and your friends of your individual locations when the app is opened. When viewing your friends on the Snap Map, you can select their Bitmoji avatar and message them directly or find out what they are currently up to via their Actionmoji. An Actionmoji is a Bitmoji avatar performing an action based on what you’re doing (driving, listening to music) and your location. This combination of features allow for spontaneous planning between friends.
A particularly interesting function of Snap Map is the ability to post stories to the “Our Story” section, making yours eligible for viewing by other Snapchat users who aren’t on your friends list. Snap Map can also show you areas of high story upload rate by way of hot spots similar to a heat map display, likely signaling an event. Users who may have privacy concerns about the update can simply turn off location services or toggle the feature off in-app.
Displaying one’s location by mobile app is certainly not a new concept. Foursquare Swarm: Check In, is an app that has a similar feature, but as its main function as opposed to an additional use. It was released in 2014. The addition of the Snap map is likely to counter it’s churn in the wake of Instagram’s Story feature, released mid-2016. Likely, the competition between the two apps will result in fun and interesting new ways of social media communication in the future.