Tuesday, June 27, 2017

*School Assignment*: Snapchat’s new feature ‘SnapMap’ Raises Questions for Parents of Younger Users

(photo credits: In this Friday 23 June 2017 photo, users plot their snaps onto a map others can see where they are and what they are doing. (Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)

When the fun, exciting Snapchat app updated yesterday, there was a new feature for its users. Snap Map is an advanced feature that allows its users to locate their friends on the Snapchat app. Friends who are following each other no longer have to wonder where they are, when they can simply use SnapMap, to feel ahead of each other. However, the convenient feature raises some questions from parents of younger app users.




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ABC NEWS’ Jesse Palmer explains in a video how the app works, and the concerns from parents using the feature.


“If you update your Snapchat map on your phone, you’ll be prompted to either opt in, sharing your location on SnapMap, or staying in Ghost Mode, the default setting. So you can see where others are, but they can’t see you,” Palmer said.


Palmer added that it’s impossible to share your locations with someone who isn’t your friend. You can even select which friends see you, and which ones don’t. The Map only updates your location when you’re actually using the app.


Palmer reminded viewers that location features such as SnapMap aren’t considered groundbreaking, but they can be controlled when and how they are activated. “Apps like Facebook Messenger and Apple’s Find My Friends allow you to share your specific location with others,” Palmer said. “And since this type of technology isn’t going away anytime soon, experts suggest talking to your children about who they add, being selective about what the word ‘friend’ is, and when your kids update their apps, make sure you’re up to date on what that means for them.”

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