Bored Snapchat users looking for something to do should update their apps today: they’ll be greeted with a new map view that shows where exactly their friends are and what they’re up to.
Snap Map, as the company is calling it, can be activated by pinching your fingers together on the camera view when you first start the app. Once in map view, you’ll see “Actionmoji” versions of your nearby friends, which include their names and profile photos in a configuration that vaguely resembles the tags you might find on plants for sale at the nursery.
When you tap on one of your friends’ icons, you’ll see stories they’ve posted recently, which might get you in the mood to go join in the fun they’re having.
What if none of your friends are around or they haven’t posted anything interesting recently? Not to worry: the map view will also show a heat map based on the activity of other Snapchat users. For example, a map of San Francisco shows hot spots at Fisherman’s wharf and along Market Street.
The Snap Map is Snapchat’s take on the location-based social media genre, which already includes startups like Zenly that are designed to let you keep track of nearby friends. And given Instagram’s propensity to successfully duplicate Snapchat features, it also wouldn’t be surprising if Instagram copies the map idea in the near future.
So when you accidentally add that creepy dude on Snap, then see him lurking at the bar staring at you like a malnourished wolf, you know how he found you.
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