What is it?

Snapchat launched Snap Map, an in-app tool for you to share your location, see what your friends are up to, and explore what’s happening in your area and around the world. Within Snap Map, you can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news, locations of friends and more. This feature offers new way to discover stories and connect with friends.

“See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!,” Snap writes on its blog announcement.

With this new feature, Snapchat seems to be positioning itself as a tool for friends to meet up offline rather than just a content-sharing network. Check out Snapchat’s full update here and my thoughts on how this can work for brands below.

How does it work?

Step 1: Make sure your app is updated.

Step 2: Go to your camera screen.

Step 3: Pinch the screen to reveal the map 👌

Step 4: Select your audience (Ghost mode, Friends, Select Friends). Location services will need to be on to use Snap Map.

Now you can start exploring what’s happening in your area and what your friends are doing. When you tap on a friend’s “ActionMoji” either their Story will open or a box at the bottom of the screen will pop up to let you chat them directly.

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If you are in Ghost Mode, a blue circle with a ghost will appear on top of your avatar. Additionally, Heat map colors on the Map indicate where lots of Snaps are being uploaded, so you can explore where a big event might be taking place.

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Note: Regardless of your personal map settings, Snaps that are submitted to Our Story can still show up in the Snap Map.

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What does this mean for brands?

This feature is designed primarily with users and their closest friends in mind. At this time, there are no plans for Snapchat to run ads alongside Stories or selling location-based promotion based on consumer maps.

That being said, this feature could be an opportunity for influencers and/or brands with individual handles to highlight promotions or event activations on the Snap Map.