Snapchat now requires Location Services for all basic filters, some users of the popular ephemeral messaging app have reported. The change was seemingly introduced with the latest client-side update for Snapchat that started rolling out on the Google Play Store last week, with initial reports claiming that the app wants to access a user's location even when they aren't using Geofilters or its Speedometer. Limited testing of the service on Monday confirmed as much, though the Venice, Los Angeles-based company has yet to comment on the matter in any official capacity, provided that ever happens.
Snapchat's new permission requests can still be circumvented by manually disabling the app's Location Services permission from the system Settings menu on your device. Disabling its authorization to use your geographical location will get the filters to work once again which likely isn't an intended feature of its design, indicating that the app's request to access a user's location data for basic filters may be just a bug. Regular Snapchat filters are used for making color adjustments and similar minor changes to one's photos and don't rely on location data to function. The phenomenon was initially spotted in the Snapchat build version 10.9.1.0, with users running the 10.9.3 beta being unable to recreate the issue, which is another indication that the Location Services request may be a bug that will be eliminated in the coming weeks.
Snapchat has been working on ennobling its Android app in recent months in an effort to improve its performance and consequently expand its user acquisition rates that have been mostly reliant on the iOS ecosystem prior to Snap's initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year. Since then, the Californian social media giant rebranded itself as "a camera company," claiming that it's seeking to develop innovative hardware that's enhanced with unique software. This ambition initially manifested itself in the form of Spectacles, a pair of connected glasses that can be used for sending snaps. While it remains to be seen whether the company's recently established business strategy turns out to be profitable in the long term, an update on its performance should follow shortly.