Snapchat's brand new feature means you will be able to see where your friends are
In our brave new world of dazzling technological advancements, each more complex and conceptual than the last, a high premium has been placed on innovation.
Traditionally, innovators would identify a problem in the quotidian, the accepted way of doing things, and attempt to find a solution. This would give their product a clear value to the customer, a market niche and, dare I say, an actual use.
Today, though, it is tempting to question just what problem each new piece of technology to hit the shelves is attempting to solve. Indeed, the nature of capitalism would tend to engender progress for its own sake, or rather, for the sake of profit over any perceived real world value to the wider public.
Part of the trick for innovators in the 21st century, then, has become to convince consumers that they need what is on offer. Frankly, if you need to be convinced of a product's intrinsic value, the likelihood is that you don't actually need it at all. Thus, the lifestyle brand finds its place at the table. Apple has become something of a lifestyle brand; could you really say with a straight face that you couldn't do without the latest generation of iPhone? Of course not; you covet it, because it has been rendered desirable by effective marketing and peer pressure.
At best, such products represent a convenience, rather than a necessity.
Social media is, by its very nature, reliant on a mass market. Put simply, celebrities influence trends and we follow suit in our droves.
If you are used to having a crippling case of FOMO, or are just ludicrously nosy and like to know precisely what your friends are up to at all hours of the day, though, you will probably delighted to read about a new Snapchat feautre related to the Snap Map. Soon, there will be a "More" button addition that will pull up information about the locations you see on the map. For example, if your friend has taken a snap and a rather fetching looking retro cinema, Snapchat might be able to access information about the locations so that you can swiftly learn more. The feature is a part of Snapchat's new "Context Cards" directive, which will allow users to make bookings at fancy restaurants and use taxi services to get you there.
The context cards might also have further information such as reviews of the location you are thinking of visiting, directions of how to get there, opening hours and contact numbers, a little like a google information page.
Though the Snap Map update engendered some pretty searching questions surrounding the privacy of Snapchat users, the new context cards feature does genuinely sound like a useful means of researching, booking and travelling to places you have never been before.
No longer will you have to listen to Jennifer from Human Resources boasting about the new fancy sushi spot she visited last night, with context cards, you could be there the same evening.