In the ever lasting battle between Instagram Stories and Snapchat it comes down to the point of difference. What can one platform offer that the other can’t? In the beginning Snapchat was a platform that was much more private. You followed your friends, and only watched their stories. A great feature with Instagram Stories is the ability to see other stories based on the location they were tagged in. For example, I can see all of the stories from random people that tagged their location at a specific event or city. Now I think the team at Snapchat thought: “how can we elevate this idea and make it slightly creepy?”. And this, this is how Snap Map came to be.
For those of you that skipped the video, Snapchat Maps is a new function that allows you to see the exact location of your friends worldwide. Yes, you read that right. You can quite literally zoom in on any street in the world and see the exact location of your friend with their Bitmoji. On top of this, you can see stories worldwide that were shared under the “our story” feature. Before you start to panic about people knowing your whereabouts, you should know that you have the option to disable the feature. You also have the ability to limit which friends can view your location.
As you can imagine, Twitter and Instagram had quite the field day with this new update.
— Shawn (@gagalovesstiles) June 22, 2017
The obvious joke is the invasion of privacy that’s being promoted. In a perfect world where no one is concerned about privacy, this would be a great idea. In the world we currently live in where that’s not the case, most people will not have this feature enabled. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t any benefits that come with this function. If you’re at a large event and you’re looking to meet up with a friend, seeing their exact location would be perfect. Checking out stories across the world through a map function is also a creative idea. Rendering yourself vulnerable and removing your privacy? Not so cool.
It will be interesting to monitor how consumers react with Snap Map, but my prediction is that most people will not want to use it for the simple fact that it feels unnecessary and “stalker-ish”. However, I see this being a huge hit with tweens and teens. Ironically, these being the groups that should be the last to have their exact locations broadcasted to anyone their friends with.
What do you guys think? Invasion of privacy or a great discover feature for Snapchat?
Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.