Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Snapchat has always known exactly where you are. What, you thought everyone saw that “Greetings from the Brooklyn Bridge” filter? Until recently, Snapchat didn’t do much with your location data beyond serving up geofilters and pushing location-specific stories. Sure, the app uses your whereabouts to help marketers sell you stuff, but what social media behemoth doesn’t?

This week, though, Snapchat unveiled a feature that leverages your location data in a whole new way, and it’s got a lot of people freaked out. Snap Map tracks your current location and places your Bitmoji avatar on a map like a pin. Others can zoom in and find exactly where you are, down to the street address. It’s sort of like Apple’s Find My Friends and Facebook’s Live Location feature—only, you know, on Snapchat.

Obviously, Snapchat sees Snap Map as a fun and convenient way to connect with friends. But for plenty of people, the new feature is just plain creepy. Some worry about the “stalker factor,” particularly for Snapchat’s younger users who might not fully grasp the implications of a technology that constantly broadcasts their location.

The good news: Snap Maps is technically opt-in. It doesn’t take effect until you update the app and go through the feature’s on-boarding flow. Once you do that, though, it’s fairly straightforward (as far as Snapchat goes) to opt-out of sharing your location with others. If you’re opening the app for the first time after the update, Snapchat will walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the Snap Map. First, it’ll show you how to pinch and zoom in the camera tool to access the map. Next, it’ll ask who you want to see your location.

You get three choices: all your friends, select friends, or only me. Choosing “only me” activates what Snapchat calls Ghost Mode. This makes your avatar disappear from others’ maps; like true poltergeist, you can see others but they can’t see you. Great for lurkers! But remember, Snapchat’s all seeing, all knowing eyes (ahem, your phone’s sensors) can still track your location. To turn off location data altogether, you’ll need to visit your phone’s settings where you can scroll down to Snapchat, click on “location,” and choose to never share.

If you’ve already gone through the tutorial and want to change who can see you on their map, that’s easy, too. Open Snap Map and click on the setting menu in the right hand corner, where you can decide who gets the privilege of tracking your every move.

– Snap Map lets you see your friends on a map

– It’s a location-sharing feature; shows your location too

– Everyone is displayed on the map as an ‘Actionmoji’

(Pocket-lint) – Another day, another Snapchat update.

There was once a time when people complained about continual UI updates from Facebook, but with apps like Snapchat adding new features on what seems like a weekly basis, we’ve come to accept – and maybe even appreciate – that the services we use regularly are constantly being refreshed with new tricks to keep us interested.

Snapchat, for instance, has announced that it “built a whole new way to explore the world”. It’s basically a location-sharing feature. The idea is, with this new Snap Map feature, you can easily meet up with friends in real life. It lets you share your current location, which then appears to friends on a map and updates when you open Snapchat.

But if you decide you want to keep your location to yourself, you can, with Ghost Mode. Confused? No worries. Here’s everything you need to know about Snapchat’s latest feature, Snap Map.

What is Snapchat?

You can read all about Snapchat from Pocket-lint’s guide here:

What is Snap Map?

Here’s how Snap has described Snapchat’s latest feature:

“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’re at and what’s going on around them! Plus, meeting up can be a cinch.”

In other words, Snap Map essentially lets you share your location with all your friends or a few friends, and it also allows you to scroll around an actual map to see where your friends are located. When you open the updated Snapchat app, you will have access to the feature and can choose whether to share your location.

The goal is to get users to engage with their friends instead of just watching their activities via Snapchat, supposedly. But we don’t think Snapchat would never really encourage its users to not use the app, and to be honest, by getting users to open Snapchat to see where friends are, it is ironically making them use Snapchat.

How does Snap Map work?

Open Snap Map

Make sure you’re running the latest version of Snapchat. Then, go to your Camera screen, then pinch your fingers on the screen like you’re zooming out from a photo. The Snap Map should then appear.


Snap Map shows your friends and their location as illustrations – so-called Actionmoji – in real time. Actionmojis are created by Snapchat. They’re a new form of Bitmoji. Remember, Snapchat bought Bitmoji, a free app that allows you to create personalised avatars of yourself. Anyway, Actionmoji are based on your actions.

So, if you’re listening to music, Snapchat will know that and show your Actionmoji with a pair of headphones. Snapchat may look at things like your location, time of day, or speed of travel to come up with your Actionmoji. Examples of Actionmoji also include things like: at the beach, at the airport, sitting, and more.

Location settings

When you open the Snap Map for the first time, you’ll get a prompt to choose who to share your location with. If you choose to do this later, just tap the Settings button in the corner of the map screen. You can change who can see your location (all friends or select friends), or you can hide your location entirely with Ghost Mode.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Note: Your location is only updated when you’re using Snapchat.

Find friends

If your friends share their location with you, then you can easily see them on Snap Map – just look for their Actionmoji. If they don’t have their Bitmoji account linked, then you’ll see them as a blank Bitmoji outline. To zoom back to your current location, just tap the current location button in the bottom corner of the Map screen.

You can tap on any friend on the map to start a chat or see when their location was last updated. To search for a friend, tap Search at the top of a screen and type in their name. Easy.


With the Snap Map, you can also view stories from all across the world. (See this Snap FAQ guide on how to post a story on Snapchat.) Snaps that were submitted to ‘Our Story’ will be visible on the map. You can view them by tapping their circular thumbnail. They show up at special locations, such as a museum. You can also follow the heatmap: blue = a few snaps taken; red = tonnes of snaps.

Just remember that Our Stories are collections of snaps submitted from different Snapchatters throughout the world. They’re curated by Snapchat to capture a place or event from different points of view.

Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium’s OneZero. Read more.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat is rolling out features at an incredible rate. Some of them are nice tweaks, like adding voice filters. Others, like Snap Map, are honestly pretty dangerous. Let’s look at what the new Snap Map is, what’s wrong with it, and most importantly, how to disable it.

What Is Snap Map?

Snap Map is a new feature in Snapchat that shares your location with your friends. Unlike most location-based features, however, Snap Map doesn’t give a general location, it shows exactly where you are. It doesn’t show that I’m in Dublin, Ireland; it shows you where my house is. Zoom in close enough in the image below, and you’ll be able to work out exactly where I live.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

If you have Snap Map enabled, every time you open Snapchat, your position will be updated. Go to work and open Snapchat there? Now everyone knows where you work. Go over to a friends’ house for drinks and send a Snap? Yep, all your friends know where they live now too.

Obviously this feature is a privacy nightmare, and we can’t recommend you use it.

How to Disable Snap Map

Thankfully, Snap Map isn’t turned on by default. When you open Snapchat after the app has updated, you’ll get a demo of the new feature and be prompted to turn it on. If you haven’t already, don’t.

If you turned it on out of curiosity, though, you should really turn it off. Here’s how.

Open Snapchat. From the main screen, do a two-finger pinch as if you’re zooming out in a regular map app. This brings you to the Snap Map.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Tap the Gear icon in the top right corner of the screen to get to Settings.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Tap the switch next to Ghost Mode to turn off location sharing. You’ll still be able to see all your friends’ locations, which is really weird, but at least you won’t be broadcasting your location to them.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

The Snap Map feature has received a lot of backlash already, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was radically changed or removed in a future update. Until that happens, the best thing to do is pretend it doesn’t exist. If you’re a parent, you should probably check to make sure your children don’t have it enabled.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Snapchat has rolled out a new feature that allows users to see what’s happening around them and find their friends on the Map by pinching out on the camera screen. The feature seems fun until you think about the repercussions. The Snapchat maps feature can easily be used to stalk people and can be misused by those looking to harm others.

First of all it breaches user’s privacy by showing his or her current location to their ‘friends’. Although this feature can be turned off by enabling ‘Ghost Mode’, considering Snapchat is overwhelmingly used by teens and young people it is very likely that they might not understand how keeping the feature ‘On’ can be dangerous. Then there are public Stories, that anyone can view by tapping on the blue areas on the map. Although those who view these stories can’t message or see the username of the person who posted it, anyone with insidious motives can watch the video based story and figure out your location.

While this might seem harmless at first, think about some stalker who can see on the map and in the video, the recent location of a teenager who is out with friends without any adult supervision and decides to take advantage of the situation.

How to Turn Off Snapchat Map feature (Turn Ghost Mode On)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

You can stay off the map, meaning your location will not be shared with friends by turning on the Ghost Mode on. Follow the steps below to learn how to.

  1. Open the Snapchat app and access the camera screen.
  2. Perform a pinch out gesture to access the maps screen.
  3. Now tap on the gear icon from top right side of the screen.
  4. Finally Turn on the toggle for ‘Ghost Mode’.

Now that you have turned on the Ghost Mode, none of your friends will be able to see your current location. If you like you can choose to show your location to a select few friends.

How to Stop Your Snapchat Story From Appearing On Map

To prevent strangers from seeing your story on the Map, turning Ghost Mode on is not enough. Even if you have Ghost mode enabled, strangers can still view your story by tapping on the blue areas on the screen. Follow the steps below to stop your Snapchat Story from appearing on the Map.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

  1. Open Snapchat app and access the Camera screen.
  2. Pull down on the camera viewfinder and tap on the gear button from top right side of the screen.
  3. From the Settings page scroll down and under ‘Who Can…’ tap on ‘View My Story’.
  4. Finally from the next screen select ‘My Friends’.

This will stop your story from appearing on the Maps feature, hiding it from strangers who can now view anyone’s public stories.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

  • In this article…
  • 1. What is Snapchat Snap Map?
  • 2. Snap Map Privacy Is Snapchat Snap Map safe?
  • 3. How to use Snap Map
  • 4. Disable Snap Map How to turn Snap Map off and activate Ghost Mode

The latest addition to Snapchat is Snap Map, a new feature that lets you see where your friends are on a digital map. We explain what it is, how to use it, how to turn it off, and whether it’s safe or not.

What is Snapchat Snap Map?

With growing pressure from rival services like Instagram and WhatsApp, Snapchat is having to get more creative with new features. Its latest effort to one-up competitors is Snap Map, a digital map that lets you see where your friends are hanging out.

The idea is that if you can see you’ve got a friend nearby, you’ll find it much easier to arrange impromptu meet-ups. You can also see their snaps laid out across the map, which feels somewhat reminiscent of Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming service – that’s also map-based.

Here’s how Snapchat describes the feature: “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’re at and what’s going on around them! Plus, meeting up can be a cinch.”

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Unsurprisingly, this location-sharing feature has led to concerns over privacy, which leads us onto the question of whether Snap Map is safe.

And in a curious move, we discovered that Snapchat seems to have removed the launch video for Snap Map, and has scrubbed the original launch blog post of any images.

However, a mirror has been posted to YouTube here:

Snap Map Privacy: Is Snapchat Snap Map safe?

The ire surrounding Snap Map is quickly growing. For instance, the BBC reports that some schools have criticised the feature, with one quoted as warning that it could be used to “build up a picture of home addresses, travel routes, schools and workplaces”.

And Rose Bray from the NSPCC said: “We know tech companies are constantly developing their platforms and we’d encourage them to provide signposted information for parents and young people, so they know how to keep themselves safe. Parents could be given a bit of warning, so they can look up the information before the new feature launches, and have a conversation with their child.”

Some of the staunchest criticism came from Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha, who revealed in a Facebook video that her 14-year-old daughter didn’t have Ghost Mode on, and said: “This is so dangerous. I don’t know what you guys think but I think this is so dangerous. This is a step too far. I’m completely horrified by this…”

Here’s Nadia’s video:

The important point to note is that as soon as you open Snap Map for the first time, you’ll be prompted to choose who you want to share your location with. This is Snapchat’s attempt to keep young people safe, by offering an opt-out feature that let’s you share your location with just a select few friends – or even no one at all.

In a statement, Snapchat said: ”

The safety of our community is very important to us

and we want to make sure that all Snapchatters, parents and educators have accurate information about how the Snap Map works.”

It continued: “With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time. It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”

The problem is that children may be activating the feature without their parent’s knowledge, without fully comprehending the safety concerns. In a response to Sawalha’s Facebook post, one commenter said: “Absolutely disgraceful. Surely anything like this should be automatically disabled, so that the user has to turn it on. What worries me is that there will be a lot of parents who don’t even know that their children are on Snapchat, let alone having conversations about safe use of these apps.”

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

And speaking to BBC Breakfast, one mother named Paula said she was surprised to discover her 11-year-old son had chosen to share his location using Snap Map: “I didn’t know anything about it. Somebody had told him about it, one of his friends at school. I was a little bit worried about he fact that you could be pinpointed. Obviously there are predators, there are bullies.”

It seems that although Snapchat does give users the option to opt in and out of the Snap Map feature, it may need to do more to prevent children from sharing their location.

How to use Snap Map

To open the Snap Map, go to your Camera screen and then pinch your fingers inwards, as if you’re zooming out from a photo.

You’ll then see the Map, and probably a bunch of your friends dotted around it. Tap on a friend to start a chat, or alternatively see when their location was last updated.

(Note: Your own location will only be updated when you’re using Snapchat. This means if you’re out of the app, you won’t have your location endlessly tracked.)

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

You can search for a friend by tapping ‘Search’ at the top of the screen and typing in their name. It’s also possible to look through ‘Friends on the Snap Map’ to see everyone who’s currently sharing their location with you.

To return to your current location, tap the crosshair button in the bottom right-hand corner of the Map screen.

Disable Snap Map: How to turn Snap Map off and activate Ghost Mode

The first time you ever open the Snap Map, you’ll be prompted with options of who you want to share your location with. You can skip this and do it later – just head into the Settings button in the corner of the screen to adjust your choices.

You’ll be able to choose whether you want all of your friends to view your location, or just select friends – simply choose from a list.

It’s also possible to hide your location entirely with Ghost Mode, which means the Snap Map will never be updated with your own location.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

If you don’t trust Ghost Mode to work, you can also try disabling Location Services for Snapchat in your smartphone’s actual settings.

It’s also important to remember that putting your phone in airplane mode – or powering the handset down completely – will prevent Snap Map from tracking your location. Turning GPS, data, and Wi-Fi connectivity off should also prevent tracking.

What do you think of Snapchat Snap Maps? Let us know in the comments.

Snapchat introduced the Snap Maps feature over a year ago but some users still have trouble working with it or learning to live with it. There are still concerns over just how much information it makes available on your location so the ability to turn it off when you need to is essential. That’s what today’s post is all about. How to disable the Snap Map. I’ll also show you a couple of neat tricks to improve privacy in Snapchat a little further while using the social network.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

In theory, Snap Maps is a great feature. You can see where people are when they are using Snapchat. See where celebrities hang out, where your friends most use Snapchat and all that good stuff. There is even a global Snap Map online where you can see who uses the feature and where.

However, there is also the question of privacy and security and just how much information you want to be putting out there about where you are and what locations you frequent. Location tracking is part of Snapchat so it can offer geolocation features an geofilters but the map may be a step too far for some.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Disable the Snapchat map

Snapchat were quickly made aware of concerns over how much the Snap Map gives away and allows you to turn it off. Snap Maps is an opt-in service so you may not be using it anyway. Here’s how to find out and turn it off it you are using it:

Open Snapchat and pinch the home page. If you see notifications asking you to allow access to your location or a page that says ‘See the World’, you’re not opted in to Snap Maps.

If you are opted in, you can turn it off.

  1. Open Snap Map and select the cog settings icon in the top right of the screen.
  2. Select Ghost Mode and toggle it to on.

Snapchat will still track your location as per usual but it won’t broadcast it to the world. If you want to take it further, to go the GPS or location setting on your phone and revoke Snapchat’s access to it. Then Snapchat won’t be able to locate you at all. This will mean geofilters won’t work but improved privacy significantly.

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

Other tips to improve your privacy on Snapchat

Most people have no idea just how much information they give away every day on social media. Snapchat is no worse than any other social network but is no better either. Fortunately there are a few simple things you can do to improve privacy on Snapchat. Here are just a couple of them.

Know your audience

Controlling who can see your Snaps and Stories is a good first step in clawing back a little privacy. That’s easy to do within the settings menu.

  1. Select the settings gear icon in the top right of the Snapchat profile screen.
  2. Select ‘Who Can…’ from the menu.
  3. Work through Contact Me, View my Story, See My Location and See Me in Quick Add and filter as you like.

You can select Everyone, My Friends or Custom. I suggest using My Friends. This is usually set as the default but is so easily changed that it is well worth checking.

Turn off Find Friends

Find Friends is a neat feature that lets someone find your Snapchat account from your cell number. That’s okay if you keep that number private but allows anyone to scan numbers and locate corresponding Snapchat accounts. Unless you need people to find you that way, you should turn it off.

  1. Select Snapchat Settings.
  2. Select Mobile Number and toggle ‘Let others find me using my mobile number’ to off.

Use a strong password

A good password is your first line of defense when using social media and Snapchat is no different. As the network is so popular, it is equally popular among hackers. That means a robust password is essential to protecting your account. Use as complicated a password as you can while keeping it memorable.

Use a passphrase for a little extra security and use a mixture of upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters too.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an excellent security measure you can take to further secure your account. You should use this on every website or account login you can to lower the risk of being hacked.

  1. Select your Snapchat profile from within the app.
  2. Select the cog button to access Settings.
  3. Select Two-Factor Authentication and follow the setup wizard.

Those are some actionable ways to disable the Snap Map and improve privacy on the social network. Got any other suggestions? Tell us about them below if you do!

Snapchat’s new map feature explained (and how to disable it)

This week Snapchat put itself back in the running to be the coolest social media app. Released Wednesday, Snapchat’s new feature, Snap Map, connects you with your friends in a fresh and unique way. This interactive map allows you to see where in the world your friends are. Ever had someone post a cool-looking spot with no way to discover where the picture was taken? Now, thanks to Snap Map, you’ll know. Even better — thanks to the newly created Actionmojis, a Bitmoji doing an activity — you can get an idea of what they’re doing there.

“This map isn’t about where am I, it’s about where are my friends and what are they up to? It’s not about figuring out how to get to your destination, but about discovering where you want to go,” Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap Inc., told Refinery29. He continues to explain where part of the inspiration for Snap Map came from, “Interestingly, one of the habits we’ve seen with our users is that they’ll take a snap where they are, put on the geofilter, and post it to their story with a caption like ‘hit me up.’ They’re basically saying come hang out with me here. Then, when they leave there they’ll delete that from their story.”

Well, what if you don’t want everyone to see what you’re doing and where you’re doing it? How do you disable Snap Map? Unlike most new features we download these days, Snap Map can be disabled one of two ways.

Disable Snap Map

To begin, in order to even start using Snap Map, you personally have to turn it on. Also, your location settings must be set to public, and you must post a story to “our story” instead of “my story.” But, if you’re using Snap Map, and want to stop, there are two ways to do it.

1. Turn On Ghost Mode

As a first step, you can do what Snapchat is calling, “ghost mode.” When you choose this feature, your Bitmoji will disappear from the map and no longer be visible to any of your friends. It’s important to note that you can also make your Snap Map Bitmoji available to select friends. Once you access your Snap Map, tap the settings button in the upper right-hand corner to choose which type of mode you’d like.

2. Turn Off Location Services

If ghosting isn’t enough for you, turn off your location services and disconnect. To use Snap Map, you will have had to turn it on in settings, so just return there to turn it off.

While the idea of constantly keeping up with your friends and their travels sounds appealing, if Snap Map doesn’t give you enough privacy, using one of those options could be ideal. As always social media is for enjoyment and should make you comfortable. Continue to snap away.

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Snapchat is one of the innovative software companies out there. Even though other apps have cloned its Stories feature but still face filters on Snapchat are far better. I really love the updates Snapchat brings to their app. This time they have rolled out a feature by the name of Snap Map which we explain in this article. It allows you to see the real-time location of your friends on a map. But if you don’t quite want to get stalked and wish to disable it then use the steps mentioned here to turn off Snap Map on Snapchat for Android and iPhone.

    • 0.1 How To Use Snap Map?
  • 1 Turn Off Snap Map On Snapchat
    • 1.1 1. Ghost Mode
    • 1.2 2. Disable Location

How To Use Snap Map?

Before we proceed ahead to disable your location on Snap Map, let us have a quick look at how to use this cool and unique feature.

  • To make use of Snap Map update to the latest version of the app from the respective app stores.
  • After updating launch the app. For the first time, the app will guide you through the process. To get the map, zoom out by pinching your fingers on the Camera screen.
  • If the location is enabled on your device then you will see a couple of introductory screens. One of the screens will prompt you to select the users who can see your location. The available options are Ghost Mode, My Friends, Select Friends…
  • All of them are self-explanatory you can select My Friends to share your location with all your friends or Select Friends… to show yourself on Snap Map only to certain friends. Select Friends option is similar to a setting that allows you to block story from certain friends. We will discuss Ghost mode later in the article. Tap on Next after selecting the desired category.

With this, you will see friends on Snap Map who have shared their location.

Tap on their Bitmoji to chat with them or see their stories if they have uploaded one. There are heat maps are also which shows local stories and events. Amazing to stay updated with the stories ar8ound the world.

Now, let us go ahead and see how you can disable Snap Map.

Turn Off Snap Map On Snapchat

There are two ways with which you can make yourself invisible on Snap Map. One is using the official Snapchat setting and another one is by utilizing the smartphone settings.

1. Ghost Mode

  • Open the Snapchat app and zoom out to get to the Snap Map.
  • On the map screen, tap on Settings(gear icon). It is at the top right corner as of now.
  • Toggle Ghost Mode switch to ON.

Enabling Ghost Mode makes you invisible on Snap Map to everyone. But you can see the location of others if shared on the map.

2. Disable Location

This setting is a bit aggressive as it will not only stop sharing your location on the map but you won’t be able to see others location as well. The Snap Map feature will not work completely on turning off the location.

If you are fine with that then use the following steps.

  • On iPhone or iPad open the Settings app.
  • Under Settings select Snapchat and select Location on the next screen.
  • In Location select Never.

This setting will block Snapchat from using the location. Hence, Snap Map will be disabled. Apart from that, you also won’t be able to add location filters to your snaps if the GPS is disabled.


For Android, the steps to disable location for specific apps may vary depending on the phone.

Here are a couple of methods you can try.

Method 1

  • On Android open Settings and select Location.
  • Next, select Snapchat followed by Permissions.
  • Finally, disable access to location services.

Method 2

  • Open Settings and tap on Advanced Settings.
  • Now, select Permissions of App and tap on Snapchat.
  • Finally, tap on GPS Location and select Forbid.

Using the above methods you can turn off Snap Map on Snapchat. You can go for either of the methods depending on what suits you.

We hope you got to know everything about the latest Snap Map feature and how to disable it if desired.

If you found the article informational the don’t forget to share it on social media.

Snapchat released an update to its app last week that introduced a feature called Snap Map, which allows the app to share your location with other users and look at Snapchat stories based on location.

In the wake of its release, a number of privacy concerns have been raised by a variety of groups — from security experts to child advocacy groups — urging users turn off the feature to protect their privacy.

Primary among the concerns of privacy advocates is the fact Snapchat doesn’t fully disclose just how revealing the Snap Map feature is when enabled. Users may not realize anytime they open the app — not just when they post a photo or video to stories — they broadcast their exact locations to anyone on their friends lists.

“It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing under 18s to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone in their contact lists,” the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said in a statement following the Snap Map update.

“With public accounts, this will include those who are not known to the user. This highlights why it’s vital children are automatically offered safer accounts on social media to ensure they are protected from unnecessary risks.”

Another child advocacy group, Childnet International, said: “Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat — giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map — we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.”

Law enforcement also has expressed concerns. Police in Preston, England, took to social media to warn Snapchat users about how revealing the app is, noting it is of particular concern for parents who have children who use the app.

Likewise, state troopers in Massachusetts posted a message on Facebook advising parents with young Snapchat users to take precautions regarding the feature. “I’d recommend talking to your children about the concerns with sharing their location with strangers,” State Police spokesperson Dustin Fitch wrote.

How To Turn Off Snap Map

For those concerned about the potential privacy implications of enabling the Snap Map feature, there is a way to prevent the app from revealing your location to other users.

For one, Snap Maps is an opt-in feature and doesn’t take effect until the app is updated and the user is taken through the setup process, but Snapchat does a sub-optimal job of explaining just how often Snap Maps shares a user’s location.

The first time the app is opened after the update, Snapchat will walk through the new feature with a step-by-step tutorial. After showing how to use the Snap Map, it will ask if or with whom the user wants to share his or her location. The user can select all friends, a select group of friends or “only me,” also known as “Ghost Mode.”

If you already have gone through the setup process and want to change your settings, this can be done by opening Snap Map and tapping the settings menu in the upper right-hand corner. This will once again display the options for who gets to see your location. Select “Ghost Mode” to hide your location from others.

In “Ghost Mode,” a user still will be able to access Snap Map and see others’ locations. However, Snapchat still will track the user’s location for geocentric features like filters.