Snap wants users to get a more personal view of the world around them. While products like Google Maps and Apple Maps have long-relied on data partners to juice the quality of their contextual insights, Snap is hoping it can give users a more hands-on approach to mixing and matching third-party tie-ins to its Snap Map product, allowing users to build a view of their geographic surroundings that tailored to their interests.
The new product — announced today at the company’s Snap Partner Summit — is called Layers. It 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 Map evolves from a singular product to a platform,” Snap’s Bryant Detwiller tells TechCrunch. “Ultimately, we just want our map to be more useful.”
Snap Map has aimed to be a fundamentally social product, designed around people and friends rather than cars and directions. Layers will theoretically allow its users to customize what points of interest they want their map to be structured around. The company says that Snap Map has some 250 million monthly active users.
Like Snap’s approach with its Wechat-like Minis and Games, it’s starting things off pretty slowly regarding partnerships. It has two out of the gate — a collaboration with Ticketmaster and restaurant review site The Infatuation.
With the Ticketmaster Layer, users will be able to sort through shows at nearby concert venues and get transferred from the Layer directly to a new Ticketmaster Mini to buy tickets inside the Snapchat app. With The Infatuation, users can scan the map for editorialized recommendations for nearby restaurants with lists and reviews from the site. More of these partnerships are on the way, though it doesn’t sound like Snap plans to open the floodgates to developers anytime soon.