Snapchat’s ‘Stalk your friends’ feature - and how to stop it

editorial image

Users are being warned about a new Snapchat feature which is causing concern among parents.

Snap Maps - which was introduced in a recent update - allows users of the popular messaging app to track each other’s movements in real time, seeing where friends are and what they are doing.

However, parents and safety experts are concerned that pinpointing the locations of users - especially children - could put them at risk.

And TV star Nadia Sawalha has shared a video where her daughter Maddie shows how Snap Maps work.

The Loose Women presenter also describes how to turn off tracking by putting the feature into ‘ghost mode’, so that while other SnapChatters can be seen, the person using the app is ‘invisible’ to others.

Users can decide on first using the app whether they want to make their location visible to all of their friends, a group of connections, or to no-one - ‘ghost mode’.

A Snapchat spokesman said: “With Snap Map, location-sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time.

“It’s also not possible to share your location with someone who isn’t already your friend on Snapchat, and the majority of interactions on Snapchat take place between close friends.”

Snap Maps won’t come into operation until users get the latest SnapChat update, and when opening the app for the first time after the update, users will be given a tutorial on the new feature.

There are three choices on who can see your location - ‘all your friends’, ‘select friends’, or ‘only me’.

‘Only me’ turns on ‘ghost mode’ - so you can see others but they can’t see you.