USA TODAY COLLEGE - Move over, Instagram: Snapchat is back.
With a pinch of your Snapchat camera screen, you can share your current location, find your friends and explore major events happening around the world.
Once you’ve opened the map, your friends will pop up in the form of their BitMoji avatars. Tapping on their BitMoji will open their story and allow you to message them directly to say hi or make plans.
You can also see and tap on “heat maps” where lots of Snaps are being uploaded, potentially indicating a big concert or festival in that area.
Predictably, the Internet has already lost its mind over Snap Map.
I don't compliment Snapchat much but I'm obsessed with the new Snap Map! pic.twitter.com/ycNjVfLKvw— Nick Wilson (@GigemNick) June 21, 2017
waiting for friends to get on the snap map like pic.twitter.com/LMSeDfAUKn— Jackie Luo (@jackiehluo) June 21, 2017
The new Snap map is it pretty cool. You can view local stories from anywhere in the world 😲. Indicated by heat maps 🔥 pic.twitter.com/LPIDAEOrr4— Abdul 👨🏾💻 (@abdulajet) June 21, 2017
But others wondered how the feature might be exploited to track or even stalk another user’s movements.
The new season of Dateline is brought to you by Snap Map – bringing stalkers and victims together in a hip new way.— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) June 21, 2017
Facebook Messenger released a similar location-sharing service in March, but that feature only allows users to share their location with a friend or group chat for up to one hour.
There are ways to control who can (and can’t) see you on Snap Map. Once you have access to the feature, Snapchat will ask if you want to share your location with all of your friends, a few friends or go completely off the map with Ghost Mode.
You can update your location preferences at at any time by tapping your Bitmoji or selecting the settings icon in the upper right-hand corner.
If you don’t want to turn on location sharing but still want to see what your friends are up to, you can stay in Ghost Mode and still view your friends’ location on the map.
Will this new feature help Snapchat boost the app’s popularity after lagging behind Instagram Stories’ 250 million daily users?
We will have wait to see which app wins out in the battle for users. Until then, if you try Snap Mapping, let us know what you think.
Haley Samsel is an American University student and a USA TODAY digital producer.