The latest update from Snapchat, the image and video sharing mobile application, has raised concern among parents over the safety of their children.
The California-based company launched its new feature, named Snap Map on Wednesday, which allows users to share locations along with their posts and check where their contacts are on the map.
Snap Map introduction video. /Snapchat Youtube Screenshot
Members can also search for specific places like schools, and view images and videos posted by students inside.
Snapchat has been popular among teenagers since it was released six years ago. Besides their real-life friends, kids can also add people they have never met to their friends list too.
Although the company said that the new function is meant to help friends find each other in crowded places, people have expressed concerns that the service could be used by stalkers and kidnappers, and might violate users' privacy.
"Please remove this feature," Amelia Mills tweeted, "it is a complete invasion of privacy, encouraging stalking and more."
Police in Preston in the northwest of England has warned parents to turn off the map on their children's phones. "Obviously this may cause concern for certain users, particularly those who have young children who use the app," it wrote on its Facebook page.
As a response, a Snap spokesman told BBC, "With Snap Map, location sharing is off by default for all users and is completely optional. Snapchatters can choose exactly who they want to share their location with, if at all, and can change that setting at any time."
"Choose who to share your location with." /Snapchat Support Twitter Screenshot
The Snapchat Support account pinned a tweet on Friday, suggesting users "choose who to share your location with" when entering Snap Map for the first time.
(With input from Xinhua)