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Snapchat

Snapchat debuted its latest feature Wednesday for its global iOS and Android users: Snap Map. The map is an entirely new screen on the app, and shows users, in real time, the location of where their friends are and what other Snapchatters are doing all over the world.

The goal: The company said they have seen "strong evidence" that Snapchatters have been wanting a way to see where their friends are and what they're doing, as well as share that information in return. And the company says Snap Map could work like Twitter, breaking news on the app before it hits the mainstream media.

"There's definitely the aspect of where are my friends and what's happening around them, but then there's a greater aspect of what's happening globally," Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap, told Refinery29. "There's something really powerful about seeing the diversity, but also the similarity of snaps around the world."

The company has designed a step-by-step guide for how to use the map. Depending on the user's preference, you can either make your location visible to all of your friends, to a select group of friends, or to no one at all, which Snapchat calls going into "Ghost Mode." Users will also have the option to share their location to the greater Snapchat community map.

What's new: The company's latest feature will also incorporate "Actionmojis," a new type of Bitmoji, which Snapchat creates by analyzing the data on a user's location, time of day, or speed of travel. An Actionmoji will pop on the map when a user chooses to share their location, and will disappear when a user has been offline for several hours.

Areas where there's a popular event or breaking news is taking place, will show up on the map in patches of color. There are also thumbnails that will be displayed for an organized event or theme, like Mardi Gras.

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

4 hours ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary released Sunday.

Why it matters: The FBI drew on former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government, which led to former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.