Snap’s second major push to make its content available outside of its app comes today in the form of Snap Maps. These location-based stories can now be embedded online, like I did below with the current story of Times Square in New York. Good morning!
Snap Maps debuted over the summer as a way to track your friends. The app version populates with your friends’ Bitmoji, along with public stories from around the world. It initially was seen as a potential privacy risk when people didn’t realize how exact the coordinates of their Bitmoji could be; it can get down to the corner of the street you’re on.
For the public, online version of the map, Snap has removed usernames. Still, I wonder if people are consciously thinking about the whole internet being able to see what they’re up to, instead of just the millions of Snapchat users. It might change how they feel about it.
Snap reviews all the content added to public stories, although they particularly curate “Our Stories,” which are denoted in purple font. This embeddable content mostly seems useful for publishers who often compile reaction lists (like a bunch of tweets) or for journalists who get a feel for a scene by looking at Snap Maps. (We talked about that use case here!)
It isn’t actually clear how popular Snap Maps is. Earlier this year, a public leak of internal documents showed that people primarily use Snapchat to chat and exchange photos with friends. The documents also showed that people didn’t really take to Snap Maps. Although the feature had more than 30 million daily users at launch in June, that number reportedly declined to 19 million in September. Putting it on web browsers might help boost those numbers, but my guess is that it is unlikely. At the very least, it may be able to raise the company’s profile for those who have never seen Snap Map before.