Snapchat’s Snap Map Feature

Snapchat’s Snap Map not only changes the way we consume news but adds an extra dimension. The function allows users to watch videos from snapchat hot spots. These show anything from a popular sporting event, a tourist location, and most interestingly places where events unfold, all in real time. Hurricane Harvey serves as a great example to how we can use snapchat to gain further insights into the news we receive from television, newspapers, blogs, and other forms of social media. Similar to Twitter, Snapchat’s Snap Map feature gives real time updates of the people living through the events. It also gives the added value of a visual in the form of a video.

Hurricane Harvey Shows us how Useful Snapchat’s Snap Map can be

During Hurricane Harvey Snapchat’s Snap Map marked the location with a “Houston Strong” tab for those who wanted to watch the devastation and the aftermath through the eyes of those living through it. Those who watched during that week saw the evolution of Houston from the hurricane to the beginning of recovery. In the first days users saw strong winds blowing down trees and tearing down anything not firmly planted in the ground. As the first wave of snapchats disappeared, new ones took their place. Not only did we see the flooding take its tolls on peoples homes and belongings but we saw their genuine reactions and emotions. While the news gives facts, shots, and interviews, snapchat takes an unfiltered an unedited collection of stories. This gives a true human perspective unlike any other kind of media. Each story gives a different point of view but also adds to a singular narrative. So many stories showed heartbreak, fear, and uncertainty, but also so many more showed collective hope, community, and strength. Together thousands of individual snapshots created one cohesive and all encompassing story of a city going through devastation and rebuilding.

Snapchat's Snap Map showing the Houston Strong tab



Through Snapchat’s Snap Map we saw a more authentic view of Hurricane Harvey’s effect on Houston. This feature lends itself to being a valuable tool while learning about events, and allows for current updates from the center of the action. As communicators staying up to date and current on events goes hand in hand with the job. Snapchat’s Snap Map feature allows extra depth to the news we consume in other ways and will in time prove to be an essential piece of any developing story.