With a primary product that has already been replicated by platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp and a user base that has only dwindled in recent years, Snapchat has been desperate to recapture its lost glory. Now Snpachat is testing a brand new feature called Status, which could be the first of many new improvements and products that Snap brings to the table.
Status is an inherent feature of Snap Maps that allows you to check into locations, and share what you are doing over there with the world by using a relevant Bitmoji. You could show your avatar watching TV, eating tacos, playing basketball and a lot more. All of these activities and locations will be compiled in a private list called Passport.
This is an impactful addition to Snap Maps because it increases the amount of information that is available to your friends. In the past, the only thing your friends could determine about you was your location, but now that your activity will be broadcast as well, it will help them make more informed decisions with respect to interacting with you, be it work or just hanging out.
So how does one use the new feature? You will be able to access it by going for the Status button in the bottom left corner of Snap Maps. This will bring forward a list of places around you, or prompt you to type in a custom place.
You will then be presented with a list of Bitmojis portraying activities that correspond to that location (a café, for instance, would present Bitmojis drinking coffee or reading a book). Your Status will last as long as you stay in that location, and you can delete it if you wish. You do have control over who gets to see your Status, be it all of your friends, some of them, or no one at all (Ghost Mode).
Right now, Snap is only testing the feature with a handful of users in Australia, as reported by TechCrunch. Competition in the social media arena is intense, but with features like Status, Snapchat can definitely differentiate itself and rise above the crowd.