Ephemeral social networking app Snapchat is taking notes from the old Foursquare era after it was reportedly seen testing out two new features i.e. Snapchat Status and Passport which are both location-based features. Reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong found the new still-in-testing-phase feature that will allow Snapchat to edge over Instagram which is one of the biggest rivals for the app and reportedly stole the thunder it created with Snapchat Stores by introducing ‘Instagram Stories’ which is one of the most popular features on Facebook-owned Instagram.
According to the report published by TechCrunch, the Status feature allow users to check-in using location on its Snap Map which hasn’t found many takers ever since it was introduced a couple of years ago. Status works by allowing users to check-in on a location they visit using Snapchat’s trove of bitmojis available. The feature is mainly focused on allowing users to mentioned what activity are they performing and their intentions. The bitmojis have several texts embedded that would allow other users to check if you are interested in a meetup or hang out or don’t want anyone to meet, etc.
The various bitmojis available is “Call me?”, “Text Me”, “Come Thru”, etc. This feature will prevent others from unwantedly dropping by whenever a user checks-in to a certain location. Next feature in the test phase is Passport which is essentially a portal that allows users to check the places they visited historically on the Snap Map, an activity they perform, whom they met and more. The feature has a tool that enables users to check ‘Who’ viewed their location check-in so that they can take necessary actions if required. This is a potential tool to avert creeps and perverts on the social networking giant.
AS of now, the feature is in the testing phase for a small percentage of people in Australia. It is unclear whether when we can expect the feature for a global release. Snapchat acquired location startup Zenly in 2017 for a whopping $213 million plus bonuses and would use it to further extend the capability of its Snap Map which as aforementioned, hasn’t garnered many responses.
Snap Map has a sole feature tags user’s location when something’s special or when there’s breaking news or so. However, once this feature is rolled out globally, it will give Snapchat an edge over Instagram and something over its rival which it doesn’t have at least now until Instagram decides to take over the feature as well.