Snapchat’s Snap Map Buddy System Shares Your Real-Time Location With Friends

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A new feature on Snapchat is aimed at making college life safer by being able to temporarily share your location with friends. Snapchat is joining forces with It's On Us in an effort to keep family and friends safer while on a college campus.

Snapchat recently made headlines when it announced its efforts to combat drug deals being made using the social app. It stated that it would be using various methods to try and thwart and deter drug dealers from using the app for illegal activities. The company also recently bought WaveOptics for half a billion dollars in a major bid to bolster its AR development. Snapchat's latest update to its social media platform is aimed to help college students stay safer while on campus.

In a joint effort with It's On Us organization, Snapchat wants to help students look out for one another and create a safer space for them while enjoying campus life. Users of the social media app will be able to keep tabs on their friends through real-time location sharing, meant to be used as a temporary buddy system as friends and family are on their way to a date, or on their way home.

The new setting can be enabled for 15 minutes or for a few hours, and is only available between mutual friends on the app itself. While some may have thoughts of Apple's AirTags come to mind, and their usage for the purpose of stalking, users can pause sharing without notifying the other party and only those the user chooses can see their location. The location sharing setting is off by default, and there is currently no option to share real-time location with all Snapchat friends.

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In order to enable the setting, users need to navigate to a friend's profile and select the duration of location sharing. Once the setting is turned on, the status of live location sharing is visible within the chat window with the chosen friend.

While users have been able to share where they were when they last used the app, this is the first time Snapchat has utilized a live location feature.

If you are interested in taking the pledge that It's On Us has provided, you can visit the webpage and fill out the form. By signing the pledge you are essentially agreeing that you will be proactive in helping prevent campus sexual assaults.

Even though the new feature is directed toward stopping sexual assaults on a college campus, it can be implemented in numerous other ways. A concerned dad may have his teenage daughter use the feature while on a date, or a worrisome mom may have her young child use it so she knows they made it to the neighbor's house down the street safely. It is a welcome feature that could ease the minds of many, while possibly providing critical information if something bad ever does happen.