How To Tell if Someone Checked your Location on Snapchat
Snapchat is one of our favorite social networks, the perfect mix of messaging and general social sharing that makes it easy to share private moments or post a snippet of your life for all to see. From quick snaps of the world around you to using the video feature to share events, concerts, and daily happenings in your life with friends and family, Snapchat is a must-have communication app fin 2018. That said, the app isn’t just about photos and videos. Over the years, the app has gained in complexity, adding features outside the usual fare when you think about Snapchat. Even video, at one point, was a new addition to the application, adding a brand-new way to share the world around you.
From editing long videos to placing phone and video calls with Snapchat, the app has more features than it ever has before, and that can make it a real challenge to justify using the application just for standard photo sharing. There might even be features you’re unfamiliar, like Snap Map, the utility that allows you to share your own location and see where your fellow friends are. Though privacy concerns were pretty rampant in the beginning of the era of Snap Maps, the feature has been around long enough for most users to either enable it without privacy concerns, or to turn off the feature altogether without further concerns down the road.
One of the biggest surrounding questions, of course, is whether you can see when someone looks at your location on Snap Map. There are plenty of options within Snap Map itself, but it never becomes obvious whether or not the service allows you to easily check who is or is not looking at your location online. As always, protecting yourself and your identity online is as important as it can be in 2018, so let’s take a look at how to protect your identity with Snap Map.
What Exactly is a Snap Map?
One of Snapchat’s most controversial features upon its release, Snap Map is a feature added to Snapchat that allows you to share your location with your friends and view where your friends are when they open the app. When Snap Map is enabled in your app, it shares your location with one of three groups of people. First, you can select your entire list of friends. Second, you can select your list of friends while making certain exceptions. Finally, you can select a group of friends, which allows you to exclude the majority of your friends list.
Can you see if someone checked your location on Snapchat?
In a word, no. There is currently no way to tell if someone is stalking you or looking at you on Snap Maps. Even if they follow your every move, select your Bitmoji and watch every move you make, you are not notified. You are notified if they view a story, of course, as you can always view your list of followers on your story by expanding the list.
When you open the app, your location will automatically be updated. After about five to six hours of leaving the app unopened, your location will be deleted from the app. It’s possible to check the location of someone on the map through both the Snap Map itself and the profile of the Snap user. If the map doesn’t appear for someone on Snapchat, it means they either have Snap Map disabled, or they haven’t used the app for over six hours.
As a privacy setting, it’s impossible to see who’s checking your Snap Map location, which is why it’s important to make sure you have the app set on the privacy settings that make you feel most comfortable. If there’s someone you don’t want seeing your location, you should exclude that person from the list. Likewise, if there’s only a small group of people you wish to allow access to your location, it’s easy to select just a few names from your friends list. And of course, if you want no one to access your location, Ghost Mode makes it easy to hide your location from everyone on Snapchat, either for a limited time or until you turn off the setting.
Why Snap Map isn’t all good news
A friend of mine, Jess, lives in New York. A city of 9 million or so and a place that is easy to get lost in and stay anonymous. Not when you’re using Snap Map it isn’t. Here is a conversation she sent me that happened last week thanks to Snap Maps.
The names have been changed and I have removed all the text speak. Partly for ease of reading and partly because it is incredibly annoying.
Jake: ‘Jess, I see you, James, Jon and Jacob are all in the coffee shop? Why wasn’t I invited?’
Jess: ‘It was a spur of the moment thing, we met at the book store and decided to hang out.’
Jake: ‘Thanks for inviting me! I thought we were friends!’
Jess: ‘Nothing personal, you can come down if you want.’
Jake: ‘No thanks, if you wanted me there you would have invited me.’
Sure Jake is needy and insecure and this could have happened anywhere at any time. But, this was specifically enabled by Snap Maps. Jess was checking Snapchat at the time and it automatically updated her location. The others were presumably doing much the same thing so all showed up in the same place at the same time.
This is why Snap Maps is dangerous. It isn’t just about young children showing their whereabouts or ex-partners knowing where you are. It’s about those little lies we tell each other in social situations. If you sneak off to the game without inviting your buddies or have a quick drink after work without your best friend, the secret could potentially be out without you even knowing.
Two tweets I saw recently sum it up nicely.
‘The new snapchat update is finally going to expose me when I send “on my way” but I’m really still sitting in bed wrapped in a towel.’
val ⚡️ @vallachine
‘ya this snapchat map is creepy but then again I find myself casually looking at it throughout the day asking myself “why isn’t ___ at home?’
These two are relatively harmless but show that there are consequences to being tracked. We are used to governments and big businesses knowing where we are and what we are doing but do we now need to contend with our friends doing the same?
If you don’t have insecure friends or don’t mind people knowing where you are any time you use Snapchat then Snap Maps is all good. If you have children, don’t want to be tracked and mapped every time you take a snap, it isn’t so good. Your answer is to either turn on Ghost Mode or not use Snapchat when you are out and about. Otherwise your whereabouts are out there for any friends to see!