What You Need To Know About Snapchat's New Snap Map Update

Photo: Courtesy of Tayler Smith.
Snapchat is taking Snap Map in a new direction with Map Explore, the first major update to the geolocation-based feature since it launched in June 2017.
Map Explore is being pegged as a tour guide, but it is basically a notification service for Snap Map that lets you know what's going on without requiring you to scroll around the Map on your own. Whenever a friend (who has opted in) shares their location, uses a new Geofilter in their Story, or heads to a mainstream event such as Coachella — you'll get an Explore update. You'll also get Explore updates when Snapchat posts in Our Stories, which are usually tied to larger events and breaking news.
Advertisement
In a post announcing the new feature, Snapchat says it created the Explore tool "because we noticed that when you open the Map, you aren't always sure where to start your journey." Whether this means that people aren't using the Map much, or simply aren't too keen on exploring on their own, is not entirely clear.
Courtesy of Snapchat.
Whatever the case may be, Snap Map has proven itself useful by providing a lens into on-the-ground news as it occurs in real time. This was evident during last week's student walkouts, as well as throughout Hurricane Harvey.
Many of the privacy concerns that were raised when the Map was first announced have since subsided as users have become accustomed to Ghost Mode, which allows you to look at Snap Map without sharing your location. If you turn on Ghost Mode, friends will not get Explore updates about your movements, either.
To use Map Explore, open Snap Map by pinching your fingers together on the main camera screen. Select "New Updates," which will appear at the bottom of the Map. Swiping horizontally will allow you to move from one update to another. To see what your current update is, tap the Settings icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Map. Here, you can delete your status or activate Ghost Mode to turn it off.
For friends who do opt in to sharing where they're headed, Map Explore offers an easy way to quickly see who's around that weekend or what adventures your former college roommate is taking. Still, a group text can do the same thing. The more useful application of Map Explore may be its ability to offer updates about breaking news, an area where the Map has already shown its value.
Read these articles next:

More from Tech

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.