The 5 untold Snap Map secrets
In June Snapchat launched snap map, a map on which you can locate all your Snapchat friends wherever they are on planet Earth. Besides locating your friends another important part of snap map is the ‘Our Story’ feature that finally found it’s place in the app. When you are in the map you can locate your friends but you can also look at snaps that people posted on ‘Our Story’ by tapping any of the colored dots. After testing and playing with the map for over a month I have noticed quite a few things, let me list them for you.
Privacy and snap maps
The biggest snap map debate is about privacy settings since many users claim that the snap map is a threat to your privacy. I can tell you that it’s no threat at all. The first time you activate your snap map, Snapchat asks you about who you want to allow to see you on the map. I chose that only my Snapchat followers are allowed to see me or rather allowed to see my bitmoji. I control who my friends are in the app, so I control who knows where I am. If you don’t want anyone to know where you are on a snap map then you must go into ghost mode. You then become invisible.
Note; You are only visible to your friends. There are no strangers that can see your Bitmoji or avatar on the map.
- First: Find your friends in the snap map by zooming in or out, depending where all your friends are located.
- Second: ‘My Location’ settings are where you can go into ghost mode or select the friends that can see me on the map
- Third: View of of the world (big part of it), you can see the colored dots and also bigger events which are indicated by name.
The only way your snaps appear in the map is when you post them to ‘Our Story’. When someone posts a story a little colored ball appears in your region indicating that there is someone posting to ‘Our Story’.
Yet again you have full control over who can see your stories and who cannot. You are the one that has to deliberately click the ‘Our Story’ button to post to it. So, I don’t see any privacy concerns when it comes to snap maps.
Instagram has more or less the same feature for their ‘location stories’. You can find these location stories in your explore tab on Instagram and see what is going on in the city you’re in. On Instagram, you have the option to make your profile private or public. This setting has a big influence on where your story goes when you add a geotag to it. When your account is public your story will automatically go into the location story of that city when you add the geotag. When your account is private your story will not go into the location story of that city.
I am located in Eindhoven (Netherlands) so I can post to the Eindhoven story using the ‘Eindhoven’ geotag (or any address in the city) and my snap will appear in it. This is possible only when my account is public.
The limitations of ‘Our Story’
Snap map is a great way to reach an audience outside of your followers by using ‘Our Story’, especially for businesses. Sadly not all snaps go into ‘Our Story’. I recently experimented with the Snapchat Spectacles and I did an entire story with them in the Philips Lighting Hue showroom. I posted all the snaps on ‘My Story’ but I also posted them on ‘Our Story’. Later that day I wanted to check how the views were doing but there weren’t any views in ‘Our Story’; not even 23 hours later. Of course, it could be that nobody watched the snaps in ‘Our Story’ but that seems doubtful. Clive Roach and I tested the spectacles and ‘Our Story’ again later on and yet again the snaps didn’t appear in the map. Our conclusion ‘Our Story’ does not support the snaps made with the Snapchat Spectacles. No Spectacle snaps are allowed on the snap map.
The Spectacle snaps aren’t the only ones that aren’t supported in ‘Our Story’. When posting memory snaps to ‘My Story’ you aren’t able to choose to upload it to ‘Our Story’. My conclusion here is just the same as for the spectacles. ‘Our Story’ does not support memory snaps either. Leaving the only thing we do know about ‘Our Story’ and snap map; it’s for live content ONLY.
Snapchat clearly wants snaps in the snap map that were taken right on the spot and no content from a few weeks ago or even a few hours ago. It is understandable that Snapchat only wants live content in ‘Our Story’. Content from a few weeks ago might not be as relevant to other viewers as it is to you.
- First: I had just made a snap with the Snapchat Spectacles and I wasn’t able to upload the snap to ‘Our Story’. When using Snapchat with the Philips Lighting account I could choose the option ‘Our Story’ but it didn’t work.
- Second: A memory that I wanted to upload to ‘Our Story’ acheived the same result as the Spectacles; no option to post to ‘Our Story’.
Be aware that you have your privacy in your own hands. You can choose who is able to see your stories and who can find you on the snap map. It comes down to the basics of becoming friends with someone on social media, only accept those you know and you are safe.
Beware that Instagram settings are more general. You also have a privacy choice there even if you didn’t know it. Choose wisely between a public or private account depending on what you’re doing with it.
From a business perspective, I’m hoping that ‘Our Story’ will soon support Snapchat Spectacles. It’s just a great and fun way to make snaps which you should be able to share with the rest of the world. This way you can share the perks of using the Snapchat Spectacles with a broader audience.
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Passion flows through my veins for digital communications, and that's what I aspire to do in life. Enrich the world with exciting content that tells the stories of people doing their thing while doing their job.