A Snapchat warning from a Tynesidecompany has gone not so much viral as global with 21 MILLION people across the planet viewing it it in less than a week!
SocialPlus, which promotes safe, in-house Wi-Fi product Horizon to businesses, alerted the online community last week that Snapchat’s latest update has a tracker which lets people see the location of their friends.
The new function allows users to see the area, town, street and even house in the street where their friends are, so they can meet up without the need to contact each other.
But some parents’ groups are concerned this could pose a potential risk to youngsters, leaving them and their location exposed to predators.
And SocialPlus’s Snapchat warning on Facebook, showing how to disable the function by going into ‘ghost mode’, was immediately seized upon by the online community and shared by millions of people worldwide.
Emma Crowe, SocialPlus’s media manager, who sent out the post, said: “The response to the post was unbelievable.
“It started going mad from the start and in three hours my mobile phone was flattened by the number of notifications.
“They didn’t stop for three days and you could see the Snapchat warning post being shared across America, and then Australia and then back across into Europe, Germany in particular.
“Initially we kept coming back expecting interest to have died down but then it went past a million and then two million and kept on going!”
At the latest count, the Snapchat warning post had been shared more than 176,000 times with over 30,000 comments, 11,000 likes and total views in excess of 21 million.
Snapchat has stressed that the location feature is ‘opt-in’, which means that location sharing is switched off by default but can be turned on by the user.
Location sharing only works with people added to your friends list, say Snapchat, and you can set the feature for a group of friends or everyone.
But enabling ‘ghost mode’ means the user will not share their location and that is what Emma and Unite have been highlighting .
Paul Sykes, MD of Nexus, which installs Horizon Wi-Fi, said: “A big part of Horizon is the focus on keeping businesses safe with their in-house Wi-Fi so it was natural Emma would want to put out an alert on how parents might want to be aware of this latest Snapchat feature.
“But the phenomenal response shows a number of things – like how massive social media is these days and how big an issue internet security is.
“When it comes to new technology, it’s so important to make sure you have the proper safeguards and that goes for parents and children, as well as businesses.”
Anyone who wants more information on Horizon Wi-Fi or the company’s social media management packages can call 0191 466 1050 or 0845 388 3371 or go to: http://www.nexustsl.com/
Emma’s SocialPlusNexus Facebook post in full:
“Snapchat has introduced a new tracker in the update where you can view the exact location of your friends.
“It can give you the area, town, and street and if you zoom in enough, it shows the house on the street layout.
“Please Share this to make sure people are aware.
“Snapchat has a lot of young users on it. If your children are on please check they have their location set to Ghost mode, that way no one can see where they are.
“To do this make sure app is the updated version and go to selfie mode on the camera.
“Then zoom out. It will give you the option of changing to who can see your location.”
Ten countries with populations less than 21 million – source: Wikipedia.
Sri Lanka: 20.8m
Combined populations of Scotland: (5.2m), Wales, (3m), Northern Ireland: (1.8m) = 10m.