Snap is bringing two fun new updates to Snap Maps.
Snap Maps is a geolocation feature built into the popular Snapchat app. Users can access it by pinching with two fingers in a zoom-out gesture on the camera. The app zooms out to reveal your area. You can see your friends’ Bitmoji — digital representations of themselves — as well as news and events happening around the world.
The new updates cater to the Bitmoji more than anything. The app uses data about your location and the date to contextualize the world your Bitmoji lives in.
The first of these features, called Weather Effects, is exactly as it sounds. Snapchat pulls data about the weather in your location and plays appropriate weather effects. If it’s raining, for example, zooming in on your Bitmoji plays a raining animation.
The second major feature is World Effects. It adds animations and colour schemes to Snap Maps. For example, it will show a blast of confetti on your Bitmoji on your birthday. Additionally, holidays will each get a special map. Valentine’s Day will turn the map pink and fluffy; Halloween, however, will make the map ghoulish.
The features complement Snapchat’s ‘Actionmoji‘ nicely. Actionmoji use information from your device to detect what you’re doing and display your Bitmoji accordingly. For example, if you’re in a car, your Bitmoji will drive along as well.
It’s all part of making the Snapchat world more playful for Bitmoji — and their users.
“We’re always thinking how do we keep this playful, how do we keep this personal and allow it to feel like it’s alive,” said Jack Brody, Snap’s product designer.
While some users may find these features playful and cute, others find it creepy. Having a cartoon version of myself driving along in the rain just like I am in the real-world is a tad disconcerting.
There’s no clear timeline for these updates yet. However, Snapchat says they’re coming soon.