What Does “Seen Just Now” Mean in Snapchat?

The ‘Seen just now’ notification in Snapchat is a Snap Maps message that tells you where a friend who uses the feature was last seen. For those who haven’t turned off Snap Maps or not set it permanently to Ghost Mode, this is one of the messages others will see when your presence has been shown on the map feature.

If you have used Snap Maps, you will likely know that while you have the app open, it will update your location to selected friends or the wider world at regular intervals until you shut down Snapchat or use Ghost Mode. ‘Seen just now’ is what the app says when Snap Maps is updated with a location.

Snap Maps

To say Snap Maps was initially controversial is an understatement. While widely accepted as a neat feature to have, the privacy concerns over the amount of information you were potentially sharing on Snapchat didn’t go down well. It still doesn’t in some circles and some people refuse to use it altogether because of this.

If you use it sensibly and limit who can see your location to friends you actually know, it should be much less of a security risk. Otherwise you can pick and choose who sees what with Ghost Mode.

Open Snapchat and zoom out on the main or camera screen to access Snap Maps and you can see who of your circle has it enabled. You will see their bitmoji on the map screen at a location. Zoom into the map to get a much better idea of where they actually are.

If you want to say Hi, long tap their name on the map and either Send or Request Location. As well as those two options, you should see a small Chat or Snap icon. Select that and you can say Hi to the person wherever they are. This only works if you follow each other. It won’t work for those you follow but don’t follow you. For example the celebrities or brands you follow won’t appear or be selectable unless you’re lucky enough to be followed back.

Snap Maps and privacy

A lot of the controversy around the original launch of Snap Maps was the fear that everyone would know your location and could do whatever they wanted with that information. When people found out about Ghost Mode or the ability to restrict who sees what, that furor died down somewhat.

My friends still refuse to use it and that’s fine. I’m content to share elements of my life with friends but not everything. If you’re the same and don’t yet know how to use Ghost Mode, here’s how to enable it.

  1. Open Snap Maps in the usual way.
  2. Select the gear icon to access Settings.
  3. Select Ghost Mode to toggle it to on.

This still allows you to use Snap Maps but not share your location. You will also not be able to see other’s location. I think that’s a fair trade.

If you don’t want to turn the feature off altogether, you can control who sees your location on Snap Maps if you prefer. In the same window you accessed Ghost Mode, you should also have seen ‘Who Can See My Location’. This lets you control who sees what in Snap Maps.

  1. Open Snap Maps in the usual way.
  2. Select the gear icon to access Settings.
  3. Select Who Can See My Location.
  4. Select a setting from the options.

Your options here are Only Me which is Ghost Mode, My Friends which requires you to be following each other rather than one just following, My Friends Except, which should be self-explanatory and Only These Friends. If you choose the latter option, select Next and you are presented with a list of your Snapchat friends to choose from with a check box. Check the box next to each friend you don’t mind sharing your location with and select Finish.

Key privacy facts about Snap Maps

There are a few things it might be useful to know about Snap Maps that may make it a little easier for you to use.

  • Your location is only updated when you’re using Snapchat and are not in Ghost Mode.
  • Snapchat will periodically remind you that Snap Maps is sharing your location so you don’t forget.
  • Only mutual friends can see each other’s location. One-way friends cannot.
  • Snapchat deletes your position after a set amount of time.
  • If you close the map, your last seen position will remain for up to 8 hours before being dropped.

Sure Snap Maps can seem a little creepy but if you know how to use it and protect your privacy while using it, it isn’t so bad.

Do you use Snap Maps? Do any of your friends? Have any privacy concerns about using it? Tell us about it below!

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