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Snapchat on Monday announced that its “Snap Map,” a feature which allows users to view posts from around the world, will be available on the web, giving those without the social media app a chance to check out events happening near them. In addition to now existing outside of the Snapchat app, the browser version of the map lets snappers embed content from the map onto web pages, much like how Twitter or Instagram permits (h/t WIRED). Hot spots on the map, areas with lots of posts, glow green or blue; heavy traffic locations light up red and orange. Today in New York users are filling up “Our Story” with posts from New York Fashion Week, the September 11th Memorial, and the Empire State Building.
Snapchat first announced this crowdsourced feature last summer as a fun add-on to the popular app. Although the feature first was used to be openly nosy, it also quickly became a tool to share breaking news following a tragedy or natural disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last August, residents in Houston hit by the storm shared images and videos of flooded buildings, destroyed homes and displaced people.
With the upgraded design of Snap Map, news organizations, and others, will now be able to share this on-the-ground footage from Snapchat on their websites or social media feeds. According to the company, the stories will disappear 30 days from when they’re posted, much longer than the 24-hour lifespan of regular snaps. You can embed an individual story, a collection from a specific location or a geographic area.
While users can post anonymously, the staff at Snapchat does oversee and monitor every Snap Map story posted. The expansion of the map is part of the company’s strategy to make the app’s content more accessible outside of the phone app. Snap Map currently has 100 million monthly users.
Check out Snap Map in your area or anywhere in the world here.
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