Want to get a front row view of Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas? Look no further than the Snap Map.
The Gigafactory is currently under construction, and should be ready to start rolling out Teslas very soon. Elon Musk has been tooling around the factory’s 4.2 million square feet in a Cybertruck, which I’m sure everyone there has found helpful and productive.
Musk has given interviews from the factory floor, and Tesla shared new photos from inside the Gigafactory in its 2021 earnings report, released Wednesday. However, the gates have not been exactly thrown open, which is why some sneak peeks that have come from unexpected places are low-key exciting.
The source of these inside views is Snapchat, or more specifically, geographically-linked stories on the Snap Map.
The Snap Map is a map view of events and locations around the globe: Zoom in and you can see user-submitted pictures and videos from concerts, tourist attractions, downtown centers, and more.
On Monday, a Twitter user who says he is a Tesla investor in his bio spotted a submission to the Austin story that appeared to be in front of the Gigafactory. He posted the story on Twitter, and noted that you can see the body of a Model Y in the video. This tracks with what’s in Tesla’s own earnings report, which said that it started production on Model Y cars in late 2021. Tesla still needs “final certification” of the Austin-made cars before it can start delivering the Model Ys to customers, but did not clarify what the heck that actually means.
The Austin story only shows Snaps for the 24 hours they are live. There is actually a designated “Place,” or official location on the Snap Map similar to a Google Maps listing, for the Tesla Gigafactory. Places have stories that show user submitted Snaps tagged to that location, and it appears that those snaps stay up longer than 24 hours. So if you find the Tesla Austin Gigafactory on the Snap Map, you can view a collection of pictures and videos taken in and around the factory.
There are posts from late 2021 as well as more recent submissions. Many show the outside view, demonstrating just how massive it is. Others take you inside and show the winding staircases and the construction effort underway.
To get to the Place story, navigate to the Snap Map within Snapchat by clicking on the map geo-location icon in the lower left corner. Then, click the search bar in the upper left, and type in “Tesla Giga Texas,” and the place will pop up as an option you can click into. Then, the map will zoom you there, and you’ll see its location on the map as well as the business listing. Click the circle icon with a yellow border by the place name, and you’ll be able to watch Snaps tagged at that place. Unfortunately, this Place story only shows up in the Snapchat app, not on the desktop version of the Snap Map.
It’s just still bits and pieces of Tesla’s new home base. But as long as Musk’s Twitter continues to be Tesla’s main form of communicating with the public, another view is always appreciated.