What Is Geotagging?

Learn what it means to geotag something online

As its name implies, geotagging involves 'tagging' a geographical location to something like a status update, a tweet, a photo, or something else you post online. It's particularly useful because a lot of people now share content on their favorite social networks via their smartphones or tablet computers while on the go, so they're not always in one specific location all the time like we used to be back in the day when we could only access the web from a desktop computer.

Why Geotag Something on Social Media?

Geotagging a location to your posts gives your friends and followers a deeper glimpse into where you are and what you're doing. For example, if you're tweeting about a restaurant experience downtown, you could tag that restaurant location to your post to let everyone know exactly where you are so they know to check that place out (or even avoid it depending on what you're sharing about it). Or if you're posting photos while on vacation, you could tag the specific hotel, resort, or other venues to give people an idea of the places you're visiting.

Popular Social Networks That Support Geotagging

Most of the big social networks have geotagging features built right into them these days — both on their web versions and in their mobile apps. Here are some quick tips on how to use them.

Geotag Your Facebook Posts

When you post a status update or other media post on Facebook, you should be able to see a little location pin icon that you can click to 'check in' to a place. Use the dropdown menu to pick a nearby place or search for a specific one. Your location will be posted alongside your Facebook post.

Geotag Your Tweets of Twitter

Similar to Facebook, Twitter also has a location pin icon in the tweet composer that you can click or tap to find a nearby location. Your location will show up beneath your tweet when it's posted.

Geotag Your Instagram Photos and Videos

Instagram is all about sharing while on the go, and every time you prepare to post a new video or photo, you have the option to add a location on the caption tab. Adding a location will also save this photo or video to the corresponding location on your personal Instagram map (located on your profile).

Geotag Your Snapchat Photos and Videos

If you use Snapchat, you can snap a photo or record a video and then swipe right on it to add a fun sticker to it that changes depending on your location.

Your device or computer will likely ask for your permission to access your location first, so you'll have to allow that first before you can start geotagging. Make sure that you're using geotagging features safely and responsibly.

If your social profile visibility is set to public, remember that anyone could see a location that you post. If you don't want to share your location publicly, either set your profile to private so that only approved followers can see it or refrain from posting it altogether.

  • What is geotagging in Android?

    Android phone cameras can add geotags, but you need to adjust some settings. Navigate to your Android’s Settings, tap Location, and toggle on Use GPS Satellites. Back on the main screen, launch the camera, tap Menu > Settings, and scroll to Store Location in Pictures (or Geo-tag Photos, depending on your OS version). Tap OK when you see a message about GPS. Your photos will now be geotagged.

  • How do I turn off geotagging on an iPhone?

    To remove geotags from iPhone pictures, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Camera and tap Never. You can also select Ask Next Time Or When I Share to permit geotagging on a case-by-case basis.

  • How do I turn off geotagging on an Android?

    On an Android, to turn off geotagging, launch the Camera app, tap Settings (gear icon), and toggle off Save Location. Or, go to Settings > Apps > Camera > Permissions and toggle off Location.

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