Jun 21, 2017

Snapchat's latest feature: a map that shows friends in real time

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.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 33 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins