Snapchat Resources for Investigators
The latest update from Snapchat includes a new location sharing feature that can be utilized by law enforcement and investigators alike. Snap Map allows you to see where your Snapchat contacts are, share your current location and view Snaps from nearby-Snapchat users or users at a specific event or location. The location-sharing feature is available to users around the world.
How Does Snap Map Work?
Snap Map uses mobile phone technology to find out where its users are and then draws them on a map in real-time. You can browse the map to see where your friends are and view stories from other Snapchat users. You can click on their avatars to see the photos and snaps that they have shared.
Who Can See my Location?
Snap Map is an opt-in function and you can choose who you share your location with. When you open the Snap Map for the first time, you will get a prompt to choose your location settings for the map. Location settings can be changed at any stage using the settings function.
Only Me (Ghost Mode): Your location won’t be visible to anyone else on the Map. You can still see other users’ locations.
My Friends: Your location will be visible to all of your friends on the Map — including any new friends you make.
Select Friends: Choose specific friends to share your location with. Friends you select won’t be notified that you chose them, but they’ll be able to see your location on the Map.
To access snaps as an investigator, you’ll need to set up a Snapchat account. Note: If you only wish to use Snap Map, you can access it on the web browser without setting up an account.
- Download the Snaptchat app and create an account.
- Enter a preferred email address, which will then be tied to your Snapchat account. (Skip the requested cellphone number entry.)
- To locate friends on Snapchat you must grant access to your phone contacts—not recommended.
Locating Others on Snapchat
- Take a photo or screen capture of your friend’s Snapcode, similar to a QR code but works only for Snapchat.
- Open Snapchat and tap on the ghost icon at the top left of the screen.
- Tap Add Friends.
- Tap Snapcode to open your phone’s camera roll.
- Tap the Snapcode in your camera roll, and there’s your friend.