Snapchat is using the solar eclipse to show off the real potential of its maps feature

Solar Eclipse on Snap MapSnapThe first ‘Actionmoji’ for a moving event will be for the solar eclipse in Snap Map.

Snapchat spent $US213 million to acquire Zenly, the French mapping app that powers the recently announced Snap Map feature.

Snap Map allows you to see where your Snapchat friends on a map of the world. Friends are displayed using their Bitmoji avatars, which comes from another Snap acquisition.

To celebrate Monday’s upcoming solar eclipse, Snapchat is creating what it calls the first-ever “Actionmoji” tied to a moving event. The bitmoji of Snapchat friends who are in the path of the eclipse’s “totality” will temporarily be depicted wearing solar glasses and looking up into the sky.

Users will also be able to tap on areas of the map to see crowdsourced videos related to the eclipse. Snapchat’s editors will use the videos to create an “Our Story” about the event and include videos submitted by NASA and the Department of Interior.

The feature may seem like a fun, one-off novelty to capitalise on the eclipse. But the eclipse “Actionmoji” really shows how Snap is thinking about customising Snap Map around specific events. The company could eventually create similar experiences for sponsored events, like concerts or sports games.

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