At Snap, we help friends stay connected no matter where they are, and we want to give our community even more tools to safely explore the world around them. So today, we are introducing a new safety feature for the Snap Map that will help Snapchatters look out for one another while they are on the go, whether they are on their way to meet up, or on their way home at night.
Since 2017, Snapchatters have been able to opt in to share their location with their friends on the Snap Map, but to date the app needed to be open for their location to be updated. This new tool will give Snapchatters the option to share their real-time location with a close friend even while their app is closed. With this new buddy system, Snapchatters can throw their phone in their pocket and head out the door, feeling confident that the people they trust most are looking out for them while they're on the move.
Location sharing on the Snap Map has always been, and will continue to be, off by default, meaning that Snapchatters have to proactively opt in to share where they are. Importantly, Snapchatters can only ever share their whereabouts with their existing Snapchat friends – there is no option to broadcast their location to the wider Snapchat community.
As a platform built for communicating with close friends, we know that location sharing can be an easy and impactful way for young people to stay connected and safe. In fact, according to feedback from our community, we know that Snapchatters feel even more connected to their friends when they see them on Snap Map, and that they are motivated to share their location with friends because they think it’s a safe and fun way to stay connected.
We’ve built this new tool to offer Snapchatters a buddy system, and we’ve included several safety elements from the start, including:
A fast and clear way to activate, so Snapchatters can share their real-time location in an instant if they ever feel unsafe.
Limited time sharing & notification-free pausing so Snapchatters can easily turn this off when they’ve reached their destination. Plus, this minimizes any undue pressure to constantly share.
Required two-way friendship meaning that only those who have mutually added each other as friends on Snapchat can share their location, keeping in line with our existing Snap Map policies.
A safety notice that pops up when Snapchatters use the feature for the first time, ensuring our community knows that this is meant to be used only with close friends and family.
Ultra clear design so Snapchatters always understand their setting selections and who can see their location.
We are all adjusting to new ways of being out and about in the world -- especially on college campuses, where Snapchat is widely used. Many students have gone back to campus to be with their friends despite remote or hybrid learning, but with schools expecting less activity on the grounds, there may be gaps in normal security and safeguards. That's why we are launching this new tool as part of a partnership with It’s On Us
, a national non-profit dedicated to combating campus sexual assault through campus awareness and prevention education programs. Starting today, a new PSA from It’s On Us will debut in our app, encouraging our community to look out for one another.