Snapchat can be so much fun. And who doesn't love their adorable mini-me Bitmoji? If you're a fan of the app, things just got a whole lot more exciting for you this past week: Snapchat released a "Snap Map" feature that puts your little Bitmoji on a map, sort of like a Google Map pin and all of your friends and followers can see it. It's supposed to be a fun way to connect with your friends and see what's going on in your digital network. Of course, used incorrectly, it's also sort of creepy. But if you're worried about your privacy, please don't worry. You can totally hide from people on the Snapchat Snap Map and still be cool.
Luckily, the whole Snap Map thing is opt-in, which is at least a considerate move on the social network's part. The company, like very other social media app, uses your location to help people sell you things, or see stories that were in your vicinity. It's cute that they want to leverage this data into a new feature (they have to compete with Instagram Stories somehow, right?), but the fact that you can zoom in to someone's location down to the street address is worrisome to some.
Some argue that, even though it's meant for fun, the Snap Map could be used for bullying or stalking people. Or just get you in trouble with that playdate you canceled because you were "sick" but really just wanted to go to the beach with as few tiny humans as possible.
Whatever the case, don't fret just yet if you're wary about the latest update: You've got some options.
Here's How To Opt-Out
So, Snap Map won't work unless you update your app. Once you do, a tutorial will pop up and walk you through the new feature. At that point, it will ask you to choose who you want to see your location — if you choose "only me" you go into Ghost Mode. That means that you can lurk on other people's locations, but they can't see yours.
If you've already gone through the tutorial and just decided that you'd rather not have people see you Snapchatting all day from your couch, you can go to the setting menu (right hand corner) and change it from there. If you don't want Snapchat to ever, ever, ever know where you are? You have to go to your phone's settings, find the Snapchat app and turn off location settings from there. Poof! You're totally invisible.
But you're not totally creep-proof yet. Just so you know, when you tap on a person's avatar — even if you just want to know who's who, since it's hard to tell — they'll get a notification. (Yikes....)
So stay safe when it comes to your privacy settings. And try to resist the urge to find out where your friends are if you won't let them know what you're up to. It's only fair, right?