In a bid for renewed relevance, Snapchat is testing Bitmoji check-ins
Great, the Bitmojis are taking over…
If the kids are all doing it, it must be alright, as long as they keep doing it on your own platform. So, what happens when Snapchat’s killer feature, ephemeral messaging, gets copied by every other social media platform?
The userbase starts bleeding that’s what, jumping ship to Instagram or TikTok where time-limited messaging is a nice addition, not the main event. Snap has been throwing all kinds of ideas to retain users, from goofy physical Spectacles with inbuilt cameras to letting Snap Lenses be used on the PC, and now it’s testing a Foursquare-style check-in feature with a twist.
The (admittedly minor) twist to the equation is that your check-ins on Snap Map will be accompanied by Bitmoji that not only show where you are but what you’re doing at the time.
Those check-ins then get collated in a Passport feature that only you can access. First noticed by serial app-fiddler, Jane Manchun Wong, TechCrunch found out that the feature is currently only being tested with a select group of Snapchat users in Australia.
Snapchat is testing new Snap Map UI, Status and Passport
Status: Check-in Locations with Bitmoji
Passport: Private History of Status, which users can delete singularly pic.twitter.com/IUPtxSjujR
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 2, 2019
When you check-in, you’ll be able to select Bitmoji that correspond to the place that Snapchat thinks you’re at
That means frisbee-throwing Bitmoji if you’re at the park, food-related Bitmoji if you’re in a restaurant or cafe, and things like lounging around on a recliner if you’re at home. Then those Bitmoji will show up on your friend’s Snap Map, but only if you decide to share your location with them specifically. Once Snapchat detects you’ve moved from that location, the Bitmoji will disappear.
This might work, as Snapchat has a far better track record on user privacy than almost any other social network. They need to play on this strength, using it to tempt users back from Facebook and its owned properties like Instagram. With Zuck and Co. seemingly doing everything wrong in terms of personal privacy and user trust, Snapchat can reinvent itself as a paragon of privacy in the modern social media space.
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