How To

Worried about the new Snapchat tool? Here's how you switch it off

Parents are raising concerns around SnapChat's new location tagging tool - but there are easy ways to mange the update.

By Holly Royce

There's a new Snapchat feature in town, and it has the potential to do a lot more harm than faceswap or Evan Spiegel's strange views.

Snapchat is known and loved for pioneering quickfire and temporary media sharing. A picture of your breakfast sent to your friend will only appear on their screen for 1 minute, then it's gone.

Well, gone in theory. Its tools have not been without controversy e.g. woman sexually assaulted live on Snapchat speaks out, but for the most part, the social media platform is extremely popular, especially with teenagers and preteens.

The popularity with that age bracket is exactly what's causing concern when it comes to the new feature launched June 21, Snap Map.

In a blog post announcing the release of the new feature SnapChat has said:

"We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!"

"It's easy to get started — just pinch to zoom out and view the Map! You decide if you want to share your location with friends, or simply keep it to yourself with Ghost Mode."

"If your friends are sharing their location with you, their Actionmoji will appear on the Map. Actionmojis only update when you open Snapchat."

Sounds like a whole lot of fun, but many parents are concerned that the update will put their children's safety at risk.

Don't fear, however - there is a way to alter the update through the app so it will only share your location with certain people.

Firstly this is not an automatic update - users need to actually 'opt in' to share their locations, on top of this there is an easily accessible option in the settings menu which will allow you to change your location sharing settings so only certain people can view your whereabouts.

A statement from the company confirms that nothing will happen on the app without your approval.

“Nothing happens without your consent. You share what you want to share. You need to choose to add friends, you need to opt-in to make yourself visible on Snap Map, you need to select the friends you have first approved so they can see you on Snap Map, you need to opt in to post to Our Story and choose to make your Snaps visible.”

Another great selection for those with privacy concerns is an option called "Ghost Mode," which blocks all other users from seeing the location updates around media sharing.

Head to the app's setting section and you'll see a category called "who can..." this is where all changes can be easily made.

It's as simple as that. Now we can all continue to watch the lives of celebrities in comfort knowing our safety and privacy is in check.

It's also important we take the time to talk to anyone sharing their personal lives online and explain just how important safety and privacy are, and why they need to be maintained.