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Snapchat acquired Zenly for $350 million to add SnapMap

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Tinuku ~ Snapchat acquired Zenly social mapping startup to bring up their latest feature Snap Map. The company has bought Zenly an estimated US$250 million to US$350 million in cash and some shares in a deal closed in May. Snapchat will keep Zenly running independently, much like Facebook lets Instagram run separately.

Tinuku Snapchat acquired Zenly for $350 million to add SnapMap

This Zenly app lets users see where their current friends are on the map using GPS in the background. Someone can then send a message to friends in the app to plan something.

Zenly has raised US$35.1 million, including Series B with US$22.5 million in September 2016 led by the prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark.

Sensor Tower says the Paris-based startup app has 4 million downloads with 28 percent coming from France, while in Asia including South Korea at 12 percent and in Japan at 8 percent.

Snapchat launches a slightly different SnapMap location sharing feature, but looks so similar to Zenly. This application is widely used by teenagers who seek to follow the activities of their friends around town, at school or concerts and other events.

Users just go to the camera tab and zoom in to view and press on the friends icon if the user wants to start chatting or to see when their location was last updated. If someone has linked Bitmoji account, the user will see if they are driving, walking or doing other things.

Many of the most popular Snapchat features like Lenses allow to install overlay animations on the face. Almost every messaging app now has Stories feature allows to post many images and lets look on the screen for 24 hours.

My Friends feature allows all friends to view user's location on the map, but Ghost Mode will prevent others from seeing the location on the map. Select Friends allows to select who friends can see users on this new Snapchat feature.

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