The INSIDER Summary:
- Snapchat released a new location-sharing feature last week called Snap Map.
- People criticized the feature for being “creepy” on social media.
- Facebook has a similar feature called Nearby Friends that you may not know about.
- Both Snap Map and Nearby Friends are opt-in features: They only share your location with your friends if you choose to do so.
Last week, Snapchat released a new feature that shows your friends exactly where you are. Almost immediately, the internet freaked out, mocking Snap Map for being “a super creeper feature.” One person commented, “This is how you get stalked, kidnapped & murdered,” in a Tweet that went viral.
Thankfully, Snap Map is an opt-in feature: You can choose who to share your location with or turn on “Ghost Mode” to remain invisible to your friends.
But if you were worried about Snap Map, don’t forget that Facebook launched a similar feature on its app in 2014 called Nearby Friends. Up until recently, Facebook’s feature shared your exact location with your friends – either temporarily or permanently, depending on your preference.
Facebook removed exact location-sharing from Nearby Friends in December 2016, but the feature can still show your friends what neighborhood or city you’re in, as well as when you were there (e.g., 10 minutes ago). The feature will also show your friends if you’re currently traveling.
Like Snap Map, Nearby Friends is opt-in only. The feature is probably disabled if you never gave Facebook’s app permission to use your location in the first place. To make sure you’re not sharing your location with your friends at all times, however, follow these steps:
1. Open your Facebook app and tap the menu button in the lower right corner.
2. Scroll down and tap “Nearby Friends” under “Explore.”
3. If the feature is enabled, tap the gear symbol in the top right corner to access Settings.
4. Tap the “Nearby Friends” toggle to turn the feature off.
Be careful who you share your location with, and happy Facebooking!
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