Police warn parents about new location sharing feature on Snapchat

BETTENDORF-- The popular phone application, Snapchat, used for picture and video sharing has a new trick up its sleeve.

Users can see exactly where Snapchat friends are using the new 'Snap Map' feature. It shows real-time location down to the exact street.

Some users say it helps connect friends to each other.

"If I was at home, and my friends were at the skate park, I could look on here and see if they were here or at Davenport," says Bettendorf freshman Cameron Whipple.

But to local law enforcement, the new trick is a little too advanced for teens to handle.

"If you start connecting with people because they're a friend of a friend of a friend, and you really don't know them, that isn't the smartest thing to do and could be dangerous if someone started to stalk you," says Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington.

Snapchat does allow users to change who can see what with different setting options.

Police say the safest option is to turn your 'Snap Map' to ghost mode. You do this by opening the app, pinching the app inward to activate the map, clicking settings, and pressing the ghost mode button. That way, you can see where others are, but they can't see you.

These teens use the app feature, but they're airing on the side of caution.

"I have my setting to the custom where only certain people can see. So I have about 20 to 30 friends that can see out of the 100 friends I have on Snapchat," says Whipple.

It's all about staying alert, but not being afraid to try something new.