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June 21, 2018

When it rains, it pours inside Snap Maps with new World Effects

by John_A

Snap Maps put you — or at least your Bitmoji — on the map. But Snapchat just launched an update that gives some flair to that world your avatar lives in. On Wednesday, June 20, Snap Inc. launched Weather and World Effects inside Snap Maps. The update brings animated weather corresponding with the actual forecast along with holiday-themed map looks and even a confetti cannon on your birthday.

The features help add more details to Snapchat’s location sharing feature — so don’t be fooled by that Snap that looks like your friend is having a great time when he’s actually caught in a downpour. The tools use the user’s location data to add animated details from the forecast to the map.

The new Weather effects bring a digitized version of the forecast in the area and animate that weather pattern over your Bitmoji’s head. The animations come when zoomed in on a specific Bitmoji on the map and include rain, sun, and snow.

The World Effects bring similar animations to the world your Bitmoji lives in, but may be less expected than the weather, Snap suggests. The feature changes the usual look of the Snap Map not for accuracy like that weather effect, but to recognize significant events or seasons. For example, Valentine’s Day may turn the usual map into a pink world that looks more like Candy Land than an actual map.

Both features are rolling out soon as the Snap Maps feature itself marks one year. The geotagged avatars and photos already have a mix of highs and lows in that short history, including users original reaction to privacy concerns over sharing a physical location inside an app most popular among younger generations. On the opposite side, placing photos on a map has offered a different perspective on current events that even some news stations have picked up on.

Snapchat isn’t celebrating a year of Snap Maps with any actual numbers on how many people use the feature, but according to Mashable, half of Snap Map users choose to share a location with friends. The update follows Snap Map’s move to the web using an embed tool, while the holiday-themed World Effects follow the platform’s geocaching Easter egg hunt earlier this year.

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