Snapchat's latest feature shows precise location information in real-time

The update has caused a bit of controversy...

Snapchat's latest update has caused a bit of a stir amongst parents and online-safety advocates. A new feature, called Snap Map, displays a user's location. 

Users can see where their friends and contacts are in real-time. It is then possible to watch videos based upon their geographic location. The company is promoting this tool by saying it's a "new way to explore the world".

Many have expressed concern, however, at the level of detail displayed on the map. It is possible to zoom in on the map to see the exact address of a user. 

This new feature is opt-in, meaning it is not on by default. Users have the option to share their location with everyone, with select friends or with nobody. This is called 'ghost mode'. 

The company has explained that accurate location information was necessary to allow friends to use the service to meet and that points of interest on the map were provided by third-party mapping service, Mapbox.

Ghost mode

If a user enabled the new feature, but now want to go into 'ghost mode', here's what to do: 

  • Whilst in photo-taking mode, pinch the screen to open Snap Map
  • Touch the settings wheel in the top right of the screen
  • Tap "Ghost Mode". This will switch off location sharing