We are all well aware of Snapchat and the ceaseless mimicking of its interface by other major messaging apps. The company has since been trying to differentiate its image-messaging app by introducing unique features. Earlier today, Snapchat announced a brand new feature dubbed as the ‘Snap Map’, which gives the users an overview of where their friends are and what they’re up to.
The ‘Snap Map’ is pretty straight-forward – simply pinch to zoom in or zoom out on a stylised map that shows where your friends snapped their most recent stories. The feature also gives you an option to turn on “Ghost Mode”, if you want to disappear from the map for a while. Users can simply lurk on the map or alternatively share their location with all friends or just a selected few. In introspection, this feature might just worsen FOMO for some of us and take us to a whole new level of stalking friends in real-time.
To further boost Snapchat blending together stories, Bitmojis and locations, the 'Snap Map' is also full of tiny details such as one-handed scrolling on the right edge of the animated map scale and the changing icons from a bee to a bird to a helicopter, depending on how far you zoom out. Also, Snap is relying on its ‘Our Story’ collaborative feature to detect gatherings of a group of people at the same place on the map. When you open the map, you will see Bitmojis/Actionmojis of your friends and tapping on them will reveal their most recent snaps.
Interestingly, the 'Snap Map' is not that original of a concept. Zenly, a French startup, was the first to come up with a location-sharing app so you can see what your friends have been up to. While the application and its features have been subjected to a lot of copying from Instagram in the past, it seems that Snapchat too is not shying away from a little copying of its own.
The ‘Snap Map’ feature is currently rolling out to all Android and iOS users worldwide.