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Snapchat has turned everyday users into private detectives by allowing us to view our friends’ locations on a new Snapchat map feature, accessible through the app. You don’t have to be Sherlock to see what your friends or lovers are doing without you, thanks to the opt-in update that came out last Wednesday.
Now, when you open Snapchat and pinch the Stories screen (yes, pinch) a map will appear with bitmoji versions of all your friends.
Users, experts, and parents have shared concerns over the safety of the new update. Even though the update is optional, and the location is only shared with mutual friends (friends who follow one another), some may not realize that their location is shared every time they open the app. Once within the map, users can check the location of a friend by clicking on their bitmoji. When clicking on someone’s specific location, the app will alert the user that you checked their location.
This new snapchat map update is like Pokémon Go for serial killers— Sam Dreaden (@samdreaden) June 23, 2017
For other users, they’re less concerned about safety and more concerned about maintaining their covert infidelity. On Snapchat, often called the “cheaters” app, cheaters can be exposed easier than ever by checking their location.
snapchat doing location sharing now?? a man can't even cheat in peace anymore, what has the world come to— #LABron (@cartiercas) June 22, 2017
definitely just found out two of my friends are banging right now by looking at the snapchat map goodnight internet— cailin (@Capittalism) June 25, 2017
But there’s a lot more to be worried about than cheating. You can now have your bad eating habits exposed.
Or find out that your friends don’t want to hang out with you.
When you text in the group chat and no one replies, so you check snapchat map and find out they're all together pic.twitter.com/1f6sQeRLiK— Duke Ellington (@Dukey_bby) June 25, 2017
Or have your chronic lateness exposed.
The real people being exposed by Snapchat map aren't cheaters, it's people who say they're 5 mins away when they're actually still at home— Joe (@GenuinelyJoe) June 24, 2017
If you’re worried about safety or about being outed to your significant other (just own up to it man), you can choose to share your location with only a select number of friends or turn the feature off altogether by switching to “Ghost Mode.”
Snapchat might have upset some with this latest update, but we know there are a few messy users out there that probably love the feature. Gossip Girl 2.0?
These snap chat maps remind me soooo much of the 'spotted' map from Gossip Girl pic.twitter.com/3LCLS9b90G— Lauren from Tonga (@Lauren0809) June 23, 2017
Until next time. Xoxo.
Sarah Jasmine Montgomery is a Daily Dot contributor whose writing and criticism cover all things pop culture, with an emphasis on how communities of color impact physical and digital cultural spaces. Her writing and photography have also appeared in Texas Monthly, the Fader, Complex, and Billboard.