Does Snapchat Notify When You Look at Someone's Location?

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Does Snapchat Notify When You Look at Someone‘s Location?

The short answer is: No, Snapchat does not notify someone when you view their location on the map. But let‘s dive deeper into how Snapchat handles location sharing and notifications.

First, a little background. Snapchat‘s interactive Snap Map shows you where your friends are if they choose to share their locations. It can be fun to see where your buddies are hanging out around town, meeting up for events, or traveling.

But an open question around the Snap Map is – does Snapchat send your friends a notification if you look at their location? Especially if you don‘t want them to know you‘re checking in on them, this is an important detail to understand before spying on your squad!

The Evolution of Snapchat‘s Notify Function

When the Snap Map first launched in 2017, Snapchat had a "Status" feature that would notify your friends when you were interacting with their content. This included getting notifications when someone viewed your location on the map.

At the time, Snapchat product designer Jack Brody explained the rationale behind status notifications:

"The whole point of Status is to make it more fun and easy to communicate with your friends in the moment."

Essentially, Snapchat wanted to facilitate friends playfully interacting in real-time via statuses. But some users felt like they were "performing" for an audience every time they shared their location.

So in mid-2020, Snapchat removed the Status feature and with it, the ability to get notifications when someone views your location on the map.

According to a Snapchat spokesperson, this change was made to keep the focus on private communications with close friends. They wanted to avoid the concept of posting content for "likes and comments" that you see on other social media platforms.

How to View Locations Anonymously Now

In the latest version of Snapchat, viewing a friend‘s location is completely anonymous. They will not receive any notification that you looked at their Bitmoji on the map.

The only exception is if someone is using Travel Mode. Travel Mode publicly shares your location when you are traveling in a car over 10 mph. Friends who view your Travel location will still get notified.

But under normal use, you can check out a friend‘s Bitmoji location on the Snap Map without them ever knowing:

  1. Open the Snapchat app and tap the Map icon in the bottom left.

  2. Find your friend‘s Bitmoji on the map – you may need to zoom out to see them if they aren‘t nearby.

  3. Tap their Bitmoji to drop a pin and see their exact location on the map.

  4. Do not screenshot their location, as Snapchat always notifies on screenshots!

  5. Exit the Snap Map when you‘re done snooping on your buddy‘s whereabouts. 🕵️‍♂️

And that‘s it! Unless your friend is using Travel Mode, they will receive no notification that you peeked at their location.

How Long Shared Locations Last

Any location shared by your friends on Snapchat‘s Map is visible for up to 8 hours before it disappears.

So if you‘re wondering when someone was last active on Snapchat, check their Bitmoji on the map. If it shows their location, they opened Snapchat and shared that spot within the last 8 hours.

You can also see exactly how recently someone was active if you tap on their Bitmoji. Snapchat displays "Active X minutes/hours ago" letting you know the last time they opened the app and shared their location.

Pretty nifty for figuring out when your buddies are on Snapchat throughout the day!

Using Ghost Mode to Hide Your Location

Now let‘s switch perspectives – what if you don‘t want your friends spying on your location? This is where Ghost Mode comes in handy.

Ghost Mode lets you hide your location on the Snap Map so that no one can see where you are. Your Bitmoji simply won‘t show up on the map, preventing friends from tracking your movements.

To enable Ghost Mode:

  1. Go to your Snapchat Profile
  2. Tap the Gear Icon to open Settings
  3. Select Ghost Mode
  4. Choose to enable it for a set amount of time or indefinitely

When Ghost Mode is enabled, you can still browse the Snap Map and use Snapchat normally – but your friends will have no idea where you are or when you were last active!

Ghost Mode is great for controlling who can see your location at any given time. You may want to turn it on while traveling solo or simply when you want privacy from prying eyes! 👀

Checking Snapchat Activity through Stories

In addition to the Snap Map, you can also get a sense of when someone was last active on Snapchat by checking their Story.

When you view someone‘s Story, Snapchat displays a time stamp showing when each Snap was originally posted.

So if Jane‘s Story has a Snap labeled "2h ago," that means she posted it two hours earlier and was actively using Snapchat at that time.

Of course, Stories only last 24 hours max before disappearing. So checking the Snap Map is the most reliable way to see if someone was recently active within the last ~8 hours.

Pro Snapchat Stalking Tips

Now that you know the deal with Snapchat‘s location notifications, here are some tips for responsibly keeping tabs on friends:

  • Don‘t go overboard checking their location constantly – this can feel invasive.

  • Remember, the Snap Map only shows their most recent spot within 8 hours. They may have moved since then.

  • Always respect someone‘s privacy. If they turn on Ghost Mode, don‘t pressure them to share their location.

  • Notify your friends if you‘ll actively be tracking their location, so they understand your intent is caring not stalking!

  • Be judicious in your own location sharing. Only share it with close friends you are comfortable knowing your general whereabouts.

  • Use common sense. Don‘t show up uninvited somewhere just because you see a friend on the Snap Map nearby. That‘s weird!

Snapchat‘s interactive map and statuses can make coordinating hangouts or checking in on loved ones convenient. But location sharing also comes with inherent privacy risks if misused.

Use Snapchat‘s features wisely to enjoy feeling connected to friends in the moment, while still protecting your own privacy and respecting boundaries. A little common sense goes a long way in maintaining trust and fun on Snapchat!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.