Twinkl Education Blog
5 Jul '17

SnapChat launches new SnapMaps feature - A Guide for Teachers and Parents

If your child or pupils use SnapChat there has been an important development this week with the release of a new feature to use in the app. The new feature is called Snap Map which allows users to broadcast their exact location and what they are doing in real time. It is important that children and parents are aware of the dangers of this new feature and how to continue to use the app safely.

Snap Maps is accessed by going to the SnapChat camera and pinching the screen outwards with two fingers. This reveals a larger world map with animated pictures to represent where friends are and what activity they are doing in real time. Obviously this presents dangers and fears about tracking or stalking especially with children that use the app.

Fortunately there is a mode within the feature called 'ghost mode' which allows users to hide their location and only the user themselves would be able to see their location. To access this option, follow these steps;

  • From the Snapchat home screen click on the settings (cog) icon then click on 'see my location' before clicking on Ghost Mode
  • Alternatively, from the Snap Map feature you can click on the settings (cog) icon in the top right of the map then click on Ghost Mode.

Triggering this option would deny any friends or other users from tracking your location or activity, only you would be able to see your location while you would still be able to see where friends are. This is the only way you would have control over who is able to see your location and what you're doing. It is wise that children and parents are made aware of this new feature and how to disable its worst effects.

Should you put a picture in to a 'Snap Story' then this picture may still be viewed by anyone and could still reveal your location even if you have activated ghost mode.

If you would like any more information on how to use SnapChat or any other social media app then the NSPCC Net Aware website is a great place for advice and information.

Twinkl also has some good resources to use with your child or with your class to talk about staying safe online such as this PowerPoint on staying safe online and these free bookmarks with some online safety tips. There is also a social media profile frame where you can plan what information is safe to share online. 

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