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How Often Does the Snapchat Map Update?

Posted by Jamie on February 5, 2019

The Snapchat map, or Snap Map, is still a divisive feature even several months after launch. Some people I have talked to think it’s excellent while others have either turned it off or use Snapchat less because of it. Either way, the more you know about how it works the better you can manage it. This piece will discuss how often the Snapchat map updates, how to turn it off and a few other neat tricks too.

Snap Map was launched over a year ago and didn’t go down too well with the general public. While the idea is a good one, to see where friends and contacts are in the world on a cool map, in practice it isn’t so good. It is an opt-in feature so nothing is shared by default and it is simple to disable but many people though it too intrusive.

When does the Snapchat map update?

The Snap Map is in real time so will update the map every few seconds. The good news is that it will only do that while you have Snapchat open. So if you’re usually a fan on Snap Maps but want some time to yourself, just don’t use Snapchat. If you’re extra paranoid, log out of the app and shut it down.

Once you’re done, log back into Snapchat and the Snap Map will be updated with your location right away.

Who can see your location on the Snap Map?

So now you know that the Snap Map is updated in real time while you have the app open, who can see where you are? There is a setting for that within the map settings menu that lets you restrict who can see your location.

You can choose Ghost Mode which hides your location, My Friends which allows only your Snapchat friends to see you, My Friends Except… which allows you to filter out friends or Only These Friends which allows you to specify exactly who can see where you are.

You can access this setting by:

  1. Open the Snap Map and select Settings.
  2. Select ‘Who Can See My Location’.
  3. Select the setting you think best suits your situation.

If you don’t want to use Snap Map at all, select Ghost Mode and set it to indefinitely. This is how you stop appearing on the Snap Map altogether. Enable Ghost Mode, set it to indefinitely and go about your business. Snapchat’s other location tracking features will still work and you will still be able to use geotags and all that good stuff but you won’t appear on Snap Maps.

Our Stories will also share your location

Snapchat’s Our Stories feature is all about location and shared experiences. If you’re a festival goer or want to see how other people saw a carnival, football game or other event, Our Stories is where you do it. What you need to know is that this feature also shares your location.

The good news is that Our Stories are just one feature of the social network and not one you have to participate in. Snapchat collects and categorizes Our Stories entries and places them around an event so you can see who else is there and how they are enjoying it. It’s another excellent feature of Snapchat that by its very nature shares a lot about where you are.

To post an Our Stories entry:

  1. Create a Snap as you normally would.
  2. Select Our Stories from the Send To screen.
  3. Select the blue arrow to upload.

Just be aware that you are sharing your location at the same time!

If you posted an Our Stories entry and want to remove it now you know just how much you’re sharing, you can:

  1. Select your Snapchat profile and select My Story.
  2. Select the Snap you want to remove.
  3. Select the trashcan icon to delete.

Of course, the usual 24 hour rule applies to Our Stories as they do to Snaps so you don’t have to worry about historical posts.

Snap Maps

When Snap Maps was first launched, it wasn’t met with universal acclaim. I wasn’t happy to see it but quickly saw that you could disable the feature with Ghost Mode. It took users a long time to accept this feature and most people I know don’t actually use it at all except for events like gigs or festivals.

However, if you manage Snap Maps right, it can add a whole new level to interactivity and in conjunction with Our Stories, can show you perspectives on things you could never have seen before. While I don’t like how much data I share on Snapchat, these features are too good to ignore!

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