Snap wants users to have a more personal view of the world around them.
While products like Google Maps and Apple Maps have long relied on data partners to optimize the quality of their contextual information, Snap hopes it can offer users a more convenient approach to mixing and matching third-party links with its Snap. . Cartographic product, allowing users to build a view of their geographical environment adapted to their interests.
The new product – announced today at the company’s Snap Partner Summit – is called Layers and allows users to add data from some of Snap’s chosen developer partners directly to their map so they can see the world in a very particular view.
“Layers are how the card evolves from a singular product to a platform,” Snap’s Bryant Detwiller told TechCrunch. “At the end of the day, we just want our map to be more useful.”
Snap Map aims to be a fundamentally social product, designed around people and friends rather than cars and directions. Layers will theoretically allow its users some customization to decide which points of interest they want their map to be structured around.
The company claims that Snap Map has some 250 million monthly active users.
Like Snap’s approach with its WeChat-like minis and games, things are off to a pretty slow start when it comes to partnerships. It has two out of the gate – a partnership with Ticketmaster and restaurant review site The Infatuation.
With the Ticketmaster layer, users will be able to sort shows at nearby concert venues and can be transferred directly from the layer to a new Ticketmaster Mini to purchase tickets within the Snapchat app. With The Infatuation, users can scan the map for editorialized recommendations for nearby restaurants with site listings and reviews. More of these partnerships are on the way, though it doesn’t look like Snap plans to open the floodgates to developers anytime soon.