Recently, Snapchat has launched an update containing a new feature called “Snap Map.” There has been controversy around this new update as it allows you to share your real time location on the app for your friends and followers to see. It also allows snapchatters the ability to watch stories from various locations and major events that are going on around the world. According to Snapchat, the feature is for users to “…see what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!”
For those that find this new update scary or even an infringement on privacy, Snapchat gives users an option called “Ghost Mode.” User’s location will not be shared with anyone else on the map, but they are still able to view others and watch the various stories from all around the globe.
Snap Map can even figure out your actions based off your location, speed and time logged in on the app. If you are going at fast speeds on a highway, your Bitmoji will be in a car. If you are walking around an airport, your Bitmoji will have luggage. And if you are at the beach, your Bitmoji will be building a sandcastle all based on the location of your phone.
Currently, there are no advertisements on the Snap Map mode of Snapchat. But, my prediction is that it won’t be long until the location that you share and the events that you interact with will generate advertisements that are catered to your preferences and based off your location. Whether you are at a shopping center or at a sporting event, the information that can be found based off your locations will help marketers find the perfect audience to sell their products.
In a previous blog post, we discussed geofencing and how it is a new trend in marketing based of off technology using consumer’s locations. With features like Snap Map, it is a combination of the location services we find in geofencing and the information marketers can gain based off social media ads. As this feature is relatively new, it should be interesting to see what Snapchat users think about the new update and if location sharing continues to become a rising trend on social media, whether or not using that information for advertisements will be soon to follow.
With all that in mind, placing an importance on the privacy of personal information will be pivotal for this type of technology to become a successful and ethical marketing tool in the future. What are your thoughts on this new update? How can you see it being used for marketing?