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Snapchat is now letting your friends see your real-time location

Snapchat Real Time Location Screens
Snapchat Real Time Location Screens (Image credit: Snapchat)

What you need to know

  • Snapchat is now letting people share their live location with their friends.
  • People can share their location for periods from 15 minutes to a few hours.
  • Revoking someone's access to a live location won't generate a notification.

Snapchat is now allowing your friends to see exactly where you are in real-time in a move that borrows heavily from Apple's Find My.

Just like Find My, the new Snapchat feature will show your friends exactly where your are on a map, a feature that could be helpful when trying to meet up. Snapchat says that the feature is only available to people who are mutual friends and the period of sharing can be set from 15 minutes to a matter of hours per user.

A new report by The Verge notes that the feature will be turned off by default and that people will be able to revoke access without the other person receiving a notification — something that could be hugely important for people dealing with abusive partners, for example.

The feature is similar to the Find My app on iOS, where users who've opted in can see and share precise location. The Snapchat setting can be enabled for 15 minutes or a few hours with individual users, and is only available between mutual friends on the app. In order to lower the risk of stalking or being pressured to constantly share location, users can pause sharing without sending the other party a notification, Snapchat says. The feature is off by default and there is no option to share real-time location with all Snapchat friends.

The feature seems to be live in Snapchat right now and you can find it by heading to your friend's profile. You'll find a new button that will get the ball rolling. Unlike previous versions of Snapchat's location tracking features, this new one will run all the time rather than only updating the location whenever the app is launched.

While Find My is still the best iPhone option for people wanting go share their location with others, big Snapchat users may want to use this instead — especially thanks to its cross-platform capabilities.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.