In addition to being the place you share evidence of all the fun you're having and potentially where you land a job with McDonald's, Snapchat also wants to be the app you use to find cool stuff to do. Its latest feature, called the Snap Map, shows collections of public Stories from events around you so you can go straight to the site of that super awesome-looking concert or street fair after seeing posts about it.
To view the map after you update the app, you'll have to pinch to zoom out from the Snapchat camera page, and you'll see snaps from events happening around you. If a lot of posts are being shared from one location, it'll show up as "heat" on the map, indicating a special event or breaking news. You can also explore what's going on around the world instead of just what's in your vicinity.
Let's be real, though: You're probably going to use Snap Map to see what your crush is up to or if your friends are hanging out without you. Snap Map will enable your stalking if your contacts have opted to let you see their location, and this setting is disabled by default. You can choose to share your activity with select friends, all friends or none at all.
Snapchat also lets you start messaging your friends from the Map by tapping on their avatars, and if a group of friends are together at the same spot, you can also launch a group chat. What better way to let your crew know you feel left out than by snapping them a selfie of your FOMO?
Like existing Stories that are curated around specific events, Snaps on the Map are available to view for about 24 hours after they're posted, and consist of contributions submitted by other users to the "Our Story" group. Thumbnails on the map will highlight points of interest like Times Square and other attractions that regularly see plenty of submissions, so you can differentiate them from other special events that Snap curates.
Given all the ways Snapchat's rivals have been copying all of its features lately, it wouldn't be surprising before we start seeing map-based curation of stories popping up in other social networks soon enough.