June 29, 2017
We’ve all heard about the “friendly ghost” of cinema, Casper. But are you familiar with the “friendly ghost” of social media? If not, let us introduce you to Snapchat. Snapchat is the little, yellow app with the white ghost that allows you to quite literally, “snap chat”. The entire social medium is about conversing using snaps of images. You can send these images to anyone you’re following. This could be friends, family, co-workers, B2B, B2C, and now….the world. You heard that right! Snapchat has just incorporated a new element into the application called “Snap Map”.
For a better understanding of what it is, let’s hear it from the creators themselves…
With the Snap Map, you can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news, and more from all across the world. If you and a friend follow one another, you can share your locations with each other so you can see where they are and what’s going on around them! Plus, meeting up can be a cinch. Only the people you choose can see your location — so if you’re friends with your boss, you can still keep your location on the down low during a sick day.
We can all agree that the above statement pretty much sells us on the Snap Map, right? Unfortunately, that’s Snapchat’s job – to sell us on their product, while glossing over some of the negative effects it may have — like allowing strangers to follow and have exact locations on other users.
So how does it really work? And is it connecting or stalking?
Below is an image of what your Snap Map will look like once you initially open the feature. It shows your friends who have opted-in to sharing their location, and “hot spots” (blue glowing areas) for snap stories. At this point, it is the user’s turn to take control and choose their adventure.
Stay in your neighborhood, zoom out and head East across the Atlantic Ocean toward Europe and Africa, check out the stories in a city you’ve always wanted to visit – it’s your adventure!
So there’s no doubt that technology and social whizzes are impressed with this new feature. Sure, it’s cool that you can literally Snap Map the world, but you can also see a person’s exact location. If you zoom in to a specific person, you can see the street they’re on and the building they’re in. You can even see them in motion as they are changing locations!
With such changes and advances, comes the debate on whether this will positively or negatively influence its users.
Does this connect users or does it cross the line of privacy?
At Silver Oaks, we have views across the spectrum…
“As someone that loves to travel and see the world, it’s pretty amazing that I’m able to experience what is going on first hand from someone that’s actually living in a different country. But to think that it can show the exact location of someone is a little creepy, to say the least. This is an amazing feature until someone chooses to abuse it.” — Tracey
“Users have the choice to opt-in to the maps, they are choosing to agree with the concept of it. If someone ever feels unsafe or discouraged, they can always go into “ghost mode” or opt-out. I think the positives of this feature outweigh the negatives.” –Dylan
“Snapchat is an app that the younger generation uses, so as long as parents and other peers educate children/young adults to the risks, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. I think this feature is an amazing way to see the way the world works, in seconds. I’m interested to see how Facebook and Instagram react to this feature and how they incorporate it into their platform.” — Anne
What’s your opinion on Snap Map? Will you become a fan or a foe?