Photo-sharing app Snapchat has had its most recent update, but some parents are concerned that the new mapping feature could be dangerous for children using the system.
New features include the ‘Snap Map’, which lets other users see exactly where their friends are in real time, even down to the exact house or building.
Snapchat sold the update as a new way for people to explore, speaking at the launch: “We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends and get inspired to go on an adventure.”
Users who update their application will automatically be able to be seen on other people’s maps so you want to disable your own or your child’s location, follow these easy steps.
Step 1 – When you are on the main screen of Snapchat, scroll down so that you can see your name and options for ‘Added Me’, ‘Add Friends’ and ‘My Friends’.
Step 2 – Click on the small settings cog in the top right hand corner. Scroll down the page until you reach the ‘See My Location’ option and click on it.
Step 3 – Make sure that the ‘Ghost Mode’ option is select and is lit up green like in the image and then you will be invisible on the map.
But don’t be alarmed, the update isn’t completely bad and can be used by those who want to see what is going on around you in the area by how many people are ‘snapchatting’ from there, posting images and videos.
When you open the map, which can be done by pinching the screen with two fingers when on the screen where you would normally take a picture, you can see heat marks across the map depending on the number of people active.
The more red that circles appear, the more people that are posting there, indicating that an event or meeting is happening there.
When you click on the circle, you can then view a selection of pictures and videos posted from there by users.
A spokesperson from Snapchat has explained that no user is forced to show their location and can choose who to let see where they are.
They 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. 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.”