Snapchat boosts photo location tagging with 'geofilters'

The picture-sharing app adds a new opt-in feature that lets users add drawings or text overlays to their photos.

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A Snapchat Venice geofilter is added to a photo. Screengrab by Dara Kerr/CNET

Snapchat users can now add filters to their photos that consist of drawings or text relating to where they're located, aka "geofilters." The ephemeral picture-sharing app announced the new feature Tuesday, saying it was rolling it out at certain locations in Los Angeles and New York.

For example, a video accompanying the Snapchat announcement shows a woman at Disneyland taking a photo and then swiping right on the preview screen, which prompts a text overlay that says "Disneyland" to appear on the photo. The same goes for cities like Venice and Malibu and business like The Getty Museum and Soul Cycle gym.

When CNET asked Snapchat if the company is getting paid by the businesses to feature their filters, a spokesperson said no.

"We picked some brands that we really like a lot and worked together with them to create the filter," the Snapchat spokesperson said.

The geofilters don't come in automatically for Snapchat users; people have to opt-in by enabling their location services. Snapchat is quick to add that it doesn't store users' locations. It's unclear if and when the geofilters will roll out to other cities.

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