Aug 09 2017

The Snap Map and Location Based Concerns

Location-based social platforms have existed for years, allowing users to tag locations where photos were taken, check-in to restaurants and constantly keep their friends and followers updated on where they are. With the implementation of Snapchat’s new Snap Map, now almost all of the most popular social media platforms allow others to check where users are.

 

According to Snapchat, the map will feature an emoji version of the user to place where they are on a map. The map updates with the specific street by street location of each user every time they open the app (Fortune). As well as personal location, the map will also highlight featured snapchat stories from all over the world that locals can contribute to. This allows users from any location to access the local story from any other place in the world.

 

 

The main concern surrounding the Snap Map feature, though, is the ability for people to access a user’s specific location at any time. To combat the concerns, the feature can be limited to only friends, a specific number of friends, or no one with the ability to access a certain user’s location. Users wary of location-tracking can drop off the map at any time using “ghost mode,” allowing only the user to access their location.

 

 

So far the feature has been met with a lot of criticism, especially regarding the app’s younger users. If young users are unaware that their location being projected to the masses, and they add strangers through the app, it could be a recipe for, as Wired calls it, a “stalkerish” disaster.

 

Although location-based marketing has become somewhat of a norm, for example Snapchat filters using general user locations, has Snapchat gone too far providing users’ exact locations to all who interact with them? We’ll see how marketers take advantage of an already concerning new Snapchat feature as the app constantly evolves.

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