Hear ye hear ye mortals, the end is nigh! The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are here to cause ruin and terror! War, Death, Famine and…Snap Map?
By now you’ve probably all seen or at the very least heard about the new Snapchat update. You’ve definitely had someone tell you how it’s basically the Mayan calendar all over again. Times are a-changing, and with them bring the latest feature to the popular photo messaging/showing off/passive aggressive ‘stories’ app is the inventively named ‘Snap Map.’
From this you can find out who they’re with, what they’re doing, send them a message and…yes it all sounds a bit creepy really.
But what is Snap Map? What does it actually do to ruin lives? It basically adds a map screen to the app, accessed by pinching your phone screen outwards. When you are eventually allowed to see the map, it presents you with a little blank avatar to customise (through a separate app if you are so inclined or under the age of four) and shows all your friends’ avatars at the location where they last checked Snapchat. From this you can find out who they’re with, what they’re doing, send them a message and…yes it all sounds a bit creepy really.
Perfect for your best friends to see what a great time you’re having out in the city or see if your ex is still at home (crying over you obviously), but you don’t really want that one guy who always sends unwanted post-gym snaps to know where you are. Especially if he uses it to start a conversation because realistically there’s only so many times you can send “hey wyd xx” to the same person. On a more serious note, this feature definitely brings into question the safety of younger users, and makes me wonder just how much rational thought went into the development of this feature before it was released.
Perfect for your best friends to see what a great time you’re having out in the city, but you don’t really want that one guy who always sends unwanted post-gym snaps to know where you are…
Apart from the creepy aspect, it can also be used to see how much of a Brutus your friends are being when they were just “too busy” to meet up. So now instead of just seeing they were having a great time without you, you get to see exactly who else was there and even where they went! Marvellous. What a time to be alive.
Of course, you can avoid all of this hassle completely and just turn off your location on the app- something I’d recommend if you’re under the age of 18 or and/or vulnerable. Your avatar still exists on the map, but it can’t be seen by anyone. All this predicted peril, this doom and gloom, can easily be solved by a few button presses. It seems to be what the majority of people are doing- out of my hundred or so Snapchat friends, only three other people have their avatar appear on the map. A quick online search seems to show similar results from people across the globe.
All this predicted peril, this doom and gloom, can easily be solved by a few button presses…
So Snap Map, will it be the apocalypse? Well, if you’re a massive snake then yes, but it’s so easy to turn off that Snapchat might as well have not bothered. It feels a bit like when stories were added to Facebook Messenger- an entirely pointless feature barely anyone uses, but it’s probably good for a few memes before we stop caring about it forever.