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Do you want everyone knowing where you are eating dinner tonight, or that you’ll be at the mall with your friends, or you’re sleeping at home? To some, it’s exciting to see what your friends are doing on any given day and it may seem no different than anything else they post on their Snapchat story. To others, it’s a serious privacy threat and just a new way to stalk someone. The new Snapchat Map app was released in June 2017 and so far the reviews are mixed.

The Snapchat App allows users to load a map in the app and see what is going on anywhere in the world. The idea is that you can easily meet up with friends in real life after you see where they are on the map. You have to follow someone or allow someone to follow you and agree to share your location. You can change who can see your location and only share with select friends, or hide your location completely with Ghost Mode. The Snap Map uses a new kind of Bitmoji called Actionmoji, which is a personal avatar of yourself and a prop to show what you are doing, like wearing headphones, hanging at the beach, busy at the airport, and many more.

“I think the map is pretty cool because I can see what my friends are doing at the time and who they’re with,” said Nikki McNamara, a GCHS junior.

“I think the map is dope. I like that I can see where everyone’s at, but they can’t see where I am when I’m on ghost mode,” said Alex Schneider, a GCHS junior.

Most teenagers like the app and use it regularly but some adults are concerned about its safety. On the other hand, some parents use it as a tracking tool and can see exactly what you are doing, where you are, and who you are with. My parents say that they like the app because they can see where I am, but are concerned about the safety of someone being able to follow me and know my exact location.

They’ve added a heat map overlay, which means that you can also see areas on the map with a lot of stories. The user has the ability to see what a group of people are doing across the world, based on their location on the map. If there are a lot of people in the same location, it will light up with a red light. If there aren’t many people in the area, the light will be blue. If I wanted to, I could see who is at a major concert in another state or Disneyworld at any given time. To me, that is a nice add-on feature, but using the app with a select group of friends is how I plan to use it. Most importantly, as with any other social media, make sure you know who has access to your tracking information.

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