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How to micro-manage Snapchat's Snap Map feature with Ghost Mode

How to enable Ghost mode in Snapchat
Snapchat's recently-acquired Snap Map feature might be a cool way to see where your pals are snapping from on an interactive map, but it's also raising lots and lots of privacy concerns. As your location on the Snap Map updates every time you snap something or use the app, your Snapchat contacts can potentially take note of your whereabouts and, perish the thought, stalk you.

In case you missed it, the "gotcha" with Snap Map is that it doesn't only update your location on the map when you take a picture or a video, but also whenever you open the app itself.

Of course, that's a given only if you don't micro-manage the privacy protection features Snapchat has thrown in! As usual with most location-based features in the more popular apps out there, you can limit the pool of people that are allowed to see where you're snapping from. Let us show you how to be in full control of your privacy and limit the anxiety while using Snapchat to the bare minimum.

Snap Map

First of all, what is Snap Map? Provided that you've updated your app with recently, you most definitely already have the feature. For the more tech-savvy crowd let us only say that you need Snapchat v10.11.0.0 or newer. 

Anyway, upon opening the app, simply pinch out the camera interface...

...and you will be greeted by a colorful map of the world, showcasing hotspots where lots of Snapchat users are being active. If they have created their own Bitmojis, you will see these instead of their Snapchat avatars. You know, business as usual.

The location settings

Now, the first time you open Snap Map, you will be asked to specify your privacy preferences. As you might imagine, this is a key step that you shouldn't overlook. You will be given three options...

The first one, dubbed Ghost Mode, will not share your location to anyone. You will be able to see where your friends that have enabled the Snap Map feature are as well as explore hot Snapchat spots around the globe, but nobody will be able to see you. 

The second option, My Friends, is pretty self-explanatory. Anyone that's in your Snapchat contacts will be able to see where you last used Snapchat from. It's rather okay to choose this option if you have a relatively small group of trustworthy contacts, but if you have climbed the popularity ladder already, you might want to consider the next option.

Select Friends lets you specifically point out which contacts should see your whereabouts when you're using the app, whereas the rest won't see you, just like with Ghost Mode. 

How to edit your location preferences

As we said, you will be asked to specify your preferences when you use the Snap Map feature for the first time, but if you wish to change something down the line, you can easily do so by tapping the settings cog in the top right corner of the map. 

You can easily manage your privacy preferences from here as well; you can enable/disable Ghost mode or limit the number of friends that can see your location.

Of course, if you're reeeeeeeally privacy-conscious, you can disable your location services altogether! Nice tinfoil hat, by the way.

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