Putting the Chat into Snapchat

Building Snapchat has taught us a lot about what makes conversation special. When we first started working on an application for sharing disappearing pictures, we had no idea how much we would learn. Our classmates were quick to point out that you could always take a screenshot. That led us to the notion of deletion by default – you keep what you want, and we’ll get rid of everything else!

We also learned that conversation feels better when it’s visual. So we decided to make sure that every time you launch Snapchat we take you straight to the camera. It’s the fastest way to capture and share a moment on your smartphone.

With our last product update, we honored the true nature of storytelling – every Story has a chronological order – a beginning, middle, and end. We built Stories to help Snapchatters create narratives and share them with all of their friends in just one tap.

But until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting.

We could not be more thrilled to announce Chat.

Swipe right on a friend’s name in your Snapchat inbox to start chatting. When you leave the chat screen, messages viewed by both you and your friend will be cleared – but either of you can always tap or screenshot to save anything you’d like to keep (addresses, to-do lists, etc.)!

We let you know when a friend is Here in your Chat so that you can give each other your full attention. And if you’re both Here, simply press and hold to share live video – and Chat face-to-face!

Happy Snapping!

Team Snapchat

2014 LA Hacks Keynote

The following keynote was delivered by Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, during LA Hacks at Pauley Pavilion on April 11, 2014.

I am very grateful for your time and attention this evening. It is absolutely incredible to see so many young people gathered here together to build things. I really appreciate you including me.

People frequently ask me about the keys to success and I’ve always been a bit curious myself.

But it wasn’t until recently that I found the answer. I was fortunate enough to have my palm read by a wise old man in a Hong Kong temple. In addition to learning that I will be married and have a son before I am 30 - he also gave me the three keys to success.

They are as follows:

1. Hard Work

2. Ability

3. Human Relationships

Given that you are all here together at ten pm on a Friday night with the intention to work together for the next 36 hours - I don’t feel the need to elaborate on hard work or ability. You clearly have those in spades.

So what I am going to focus on here tonight are human relationships, not the kind that are developed by exchanging business cards or adding each other on LinkedIn, but the kind that are formed over time, through deep, passionate, and spirited conversation.

I thought I’d share something that we do at Snapchat that I learned at my high school, Crossroads, which they in turn borrowed from The Ojai Foundation - the practice of council. It may sound hokey to some of you, but it is really important to us. It means that once a week, for about an hour, groups of 10 or so team members get together and talk about how they feel. And just like there are three keys for success, there are three rules for council. The first is to always speak from the heart, the second is an obligation to listen, and the third is that everything that happens in council stays in council. We’ve found that this particular combination is incredibly useful for learning not only how to express what we feel, but for understanding and appreciating the feelings of others.

A friend told me that you know you love someone when they’re the person you want to share your stories with and I’d add that they’re likely the person you most want to listen to.

So without discounting the importance of speaking from the heart or listening thoughtfully, I want to talk about the notion that what happens in council stays in council. Ensuring that the feelings expressed during council aren’t shared publicly creates a space for us to make ourselves vulnerable. It allows us to share our deepest, most unique thoughts - thoughts and feelings that might be easily misunderstood in a different context. Put more simply: we respect the privacy of council.

Unfortunately, privacy is too often articulated as secrecy, when, as Nissenbaum points out, privacy is actually focused on an understanding of context. Not what is said – but where it is said and to whom. Privacy allows us to enjoy and learn from the intimacy that is created when we share different things with different people in different contexts.

Kundera writes, “in private we bad-mouth our friends and use coarse language; that we act different in private than in public is everyone’s most conspicuous experience, it is the very ground of the life of the individual; curiously, this obvious fact remains unconscious, unacknowledged, forever obscured by lyrical dreams of the transparent glass house, it is rarely understood to be the value one must defend above all others.”

In America, before the Internet, the division between our public and private lives was usually tied to our physical location – our work and our home. The context in which we were communicating with our friends and family was clear. At work, we were professionals, and at home we were husbands, wives, sons or daughters.

There are few better at understanding the difference between public and private expression than celebrities, whose public personalities can generate significant interest in their private lives. When ones privacy is threatened, when the context in which one shares is collapsed, public and private become clearly distinct.

While walking through an airport recently, I was struck by a Newsweek Special Issue that promised to reveal Marilyn Monroe’s “Lost Scrapbook.” Indeed, a journalist had found a scrapbook that she had created for a photographer and friend.

The journalist writes about the scrapbook, “It’s Marilyn being natural, having messy hair and not worrying about what somebody might think of her or how they might look at her. She’s not looking at the composition of the pictures. She’s looking at what she’s doing in the pictures. She likes having fun.”

The pages are colorful, with Marilyn’s thoughts and feelings scrawled beside the imagery. Next to one photo of herself in a bathrobe surrounded by production gear, she writes, “a girl has no privacy when she works.” Marilyn felt that her scrapbook was a private place to share with her photographer friend. It wasn’t part of her public persona.

The Internet encourages us to create scrapbooks of our feelings that are shared, potentially without context, for the enjoyment of our friends, or our “audience.” Our feelings become expressed as information – they are used to categorize and profile our existence.

On the Internet, we organize information by its popularity in an attempt to determine its validity. If a website has been referenced by many other websites, then it is generally determined to be more valuable or accurate. Feelings expressed on social media are quantified, validated, and distributed in a similar fashion. Popular expression becomes the most valuable expression.

Social media businesses represent an aggressive expansion of capitalism into our personal relationships. We are asked to perform for our friends, to create things they like, to work on a “personal brand” - and brands teach us that authenticity is the result of consistency. We must honor our “true self” and represent the same self to all of our friends or risk being discredited.

But humanity cannot be true or false. We are full of contradictions and we change. That is the joy of human life. We are not brands; it is simply not in our nature.

Technology has perpetuated the myth of the transparent glass house and created a culture that values popular opinion over critical thought. We have allowed ourselves to believe that more information equals more knowledge. And increasingly, we live in a time when, as Rosen describes, “intimate personal information originally disclosed to our friends and colleagues may be exposed to—and misinterpreted by—a less understanding audience.”

Every time we express ourselves, we do so with the understanding that things we say might become permanently and publicly known. We are encouraged to express ourselves in ways that are accepted by the largest possible audience. We lose our individuality in favor of popular acceptance.

My concern is that we have developed a generation of people who believe that successful leaders are those with followers. I believe that the best leaders are those that stand for something, who have a point of view. And that point of view must be developed, not alone, but in private, or risk becoming normalized in search of popular support.

For encouragement, I’ve often relied on these words spoken by Roosevelt at the Sorbonne, who declares, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

We have built a society where all too frequently the men the in the arena are fighting not for their lives, not for their family, nor for their point of view – but for the spectators and for the applause. And we, the spectators, sitting in the arena, happily entertained, drunk and well fed – we are full – but are we happy?

Kundera writes that “when it becomes the custom and the rule to divulge another person’s private life, we are entering a time when the highest stake is the survival or the disappearance of the individual.”

I believe that time is now.

I will leave you with words from the final paragraph of a speech that was to be delivered by President Kennedy, on the day he was assassinated. On that day, Kennedy would have spoken during a time of war. Tonight, I ask you to listen as we face the battle to prevent the destruction of the individual.

“We, in this country, in this generation, are — by destiny rather than by choice — the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain.”

We are all here to erase the stigma that says hacking has to do primarily with exposing things that others do not wish to have exposed. I challenge all of you to create a space this weekend, during this very important time, which honors and respects the thoughts, feelings and dreams of others. We have come here to find comfort and joy in sharing and creating – we must build thoughtfully for our future generations that they may discover the joys of human relationship and individual expression, as protected by privacy.

2014 AXS Partner Summit Keynote

The following keynote was delivered by Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, at the AXS Partner Summit on January 25, 2014.

I was asked to speak here today on a topic I’m sure you’re all familiar with: sexting in the post-PC era.

[Just Kidding]

I’ve always thought it was a bit odd that this period in our history has been called the “post-personal computer” era – when really it should be called the “more-personal computer” era.

I read a great story yesterday about a man named Mister Macintosh. He was a man designed by Steve Jobs to live inside the Macintosh computer when it launched, 30 years ago from yesterday. He would appear every so often, hidden behind a pull-down menu or popping out from behind an icon – just quickly and infrequently enough that you almost thought he wasn’t real.

Until yesterday, I hadn’t realized that Steve’s idea of tying a man to a computer had happened so early in his career. But, at the time, the Macintosh was forced to ship without Mister Macintosh because the engineers were constrained to only 128 kilobytes of memory. It wasn’t until much later in Steve’s career that he would truly tie man to machine – the launch of the iPhone on June 29, 2007.

In the past, technical constraints meant that computers were typically found in physical locations: the car, the home, the school. The iPhone tied a computer uniquely to a phone number – to YOU.

Not all that long ago, communication was location-dependent. We were either in the same room together, in which case we could talk face-to-face, or we were across the world from each other, in which case I could call your office or send a letter to your home. It is only very recently that we have begun to tie phone numbers to individual identities for the purpose of computation and communication.

I say all this to establish that smartphones are simply the culmination of Steve’s journey to identify man with machine – and bring about the age of the More-Personal Computer.

There are three characteristics of the More-Personal Computer that are particularly relevant to our work at Snapchat:

1) Internet Everywhere

2) Fast + Easy Media Creation

3) Ephemerality

When we first started working on Snapchat in 2011, it was just a toy. In many ways it still is – but to quote Eames, “Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.”

The reason to use a toy doesn’t have to be explained – it’s just fun. But using a toy is a terrific opportunity to learn.

And boy, have we been learning.

Internet Everywhere means that our old conception of the world separated into an online and an offline space is no longer relevant. Traditional social media required that we live experiences in the offline world, record those experiences, and then post them online to recreate the experience and talk about it. For example, I go on vacation, take a bunch of pictures, come back home, pick the good ones, post them online, and talk about them with my friends.

This traditional social media view of identity is actually quite radical: you are the sum of your published experience. Otherwise known as: pics or it didn’t happen.

Or in the case of Instagram: beautiful pics or it didn’t happen AND you’re not cool.

This notion of a profile made a lot of sense in the binary experience of online and offline. It was designed to recreate who I am online so that people could interact with me even if I wasn’t logged on at that particular moment.

Snapchat relies on Internet Everywhere to provide a totally different experience. Snapchat says that we are not the sum of everything we have said or done or experienced or published – we are the result. We are who we are today, right now.

We no longer have to capture the “real world” and recreate it online – we simply live and communicate at the same time.

Communication relies on the creation of media and is constrained by the speed at which that media is created and shared. It takes time to package your emotions, feelings and thoughts into media content like speech, writing, or photography.

Indeed, humans have always used media to understand themselves and share with others. I’ll spare you the Gaelic with this translation of Robert Burns, “Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us.”

When I heard that quote, I couldn’t help but think of self-portraits. Or for us Millennials: the selfie! Self-portraits help us understand the way that others see us – they represent how we feel, where we are, and what we’re doing. They are arguably the most popular form of self-expression.

In the past, lifelike self-portraits took weeks and millions of brush strokes to complete. In the world of Fast + Easy Media Creation, the selfie is immediate. It represents who we are and how we feel – right now.

And until now, the photographic process was far too slow for conversation. But with Fast + Easy Media Creation we are able to communicate through photos, not just communicate around them like we did on social media. When we start communicating through media we light up. It’s fun.

The selfie makes sense as the fundamental unit of communication on Snapchat because it marks the transition between digital media as self-expression and digital media as communication.

And this brings us to the importance of ephemerality at the core of conversation.

Snapchat discards content to focus on the feeling that content brings to you, not the way that content looks. This is a conservative idea, the natural response to radical transparency that restores integrity and context to conversation.

Snapchat sets expectations around conversation that mirror the expectations we have when we’re talking in-person.

That’s what Snapchat is all about. Talking through content not around it. With friends, not strangers. Identity tied to now, today. Room for growth, emotional risk, expression, mistakes, room for YOU.

The Era of More Personal Computing has provided the technical infrastructure for more personal communication. We feel so fortunate to be a part of this incredible transformation.

Snapchat is a product built from the heart – that is the reason why we are in Los Angeles. I often talk with people about the conflicts between technology companies and content companies – I’ve found that one of the biggest issues is that frequently technology companies view movies, music, and television as INFORMATION. Directors, producers, musicians, and actors view them as feelings, as expression. Not to be searched, sorted, and viewed – but EXPERIENCED.

Snapchat focuses on the experience of conversation – not the transfer of information. We’re thrilled to be a part of this community.

Thank you for inviting me today and thank you for being a part of our journey. Our team looks forward to getting to know all of you.

Snap Spam Update

We’ve heard some complaints over the weekend about an increase in Snap Spam on our service. We want to apologize for any unwanted Snaps and let you know our team is working on resolving the issue. As far as we know, this is unrelated to the Find Friends issue we experienced over the holidays.

While we expect to minimize spam, it is the consequence of a quickly growing service. To help prevent spam from entering your feed, you can adjust your settings to determine who can send you Snaps. We recommend “Only My Friends” :)

We appreciate your patience and we’ll keep you posted.


Team Snapchat

Find Friends Improvements

This morning we released a Snapchat update for Android and iOS that improves Find Friends functionality and allows Snapchatters to opt-out of linking their phone number with their username. This option is available in Settings > Mobile #.

This update also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.

Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.


Team Snapchat

The Frame Makes the Photograph

A common thing we hear about social media today is that near-constant picture taking means not ‘living in the moment’. We should put the phone down and just experience life rather than worry ourselves with its documentation. This sentiment wrongly assumes that documentation and experience are essentially at odds, a conceptual remnant of how we used to think of photography, as an art object, as content, rather than what it is often today, less an object and more a sharing of experience. But not all social media are built the same, and I think we can use a distinction in social platforms: those that are based in social media versus those that are more fundamentally about communication.

Researcher Sherry Turkle discusses this in a recent New York Times op-ed, describing how very-famous comedian Aziz Ansari greets his fans on the street. They want a photo with him, some documentary proof, but he instead offers conversation about his work, leaving many fans unsatisfied. Turkle extrapolates this encounter as representative of how social media works in general, which, I think, is a significant misunderstanding of, and disconnection from, how people use social services today. Meeting a famous person is that special moment you may want proof of; conversation might be nice, but with a celebrity it will be a one-sided affair, they will likely not remember you or keep the conversation going at a later date. To compare everyday sociality online as akin to meeting a celebrity, as Turkle does, is inaccurate. Sure, meeting Ansari might be a situation where some desire a document more than conversation, but everyday digitally-mediated social interaction is often less about the media object but rather centered in a back-and-forth reciprocal dialogue, something different social services can encourage or preclude, depending how they’re designed.

The way to understand photography as it happens on social platforms is not to compare it to traditional photography, which is about creating an art object, but instead as a communicating of experience itself. It’s less making media and more sharing eyes; your view, your experience in the now. The atomizing of the ephemeral flow of lived reality into transmittable objects is the ends of the traditional photograph, but merely the means of the social snap. As photos have become almost comically easy to make, their existence alone as objects isn’t special or interesting, rather, they exist more fluidly as communication; a visual discourse more linguistic than formally artistic. As such, social photography should be understood not as a remove from the moment or conversation but a deeply social immersion.

Turkle centers her analysis on selfies—those photos you take of yourself—arguing that we are trading the experience of the moment for its documentation. But when viewing selfies as not an abundance of self-portrait photographs but rather a sharing of experience, a communication of this is who I am, I was here, I was feeling like this, the commonality of selfies isn’t surprising or anti-social at all. Selfies, largely, are not recording the exceptionally rare events with famous people but exactly the opposite, the everyday moments that weave the fabric of life in all of its variety. An immaculately framed and perfectly lit photo of the beach makes for a good art object can be a pretty boring speech act given how that same shot multiplies in social feeds looking kind of the same. Instead, the selfie is the image-speak that is uniquely yours, no one else can take your selfie, it is your own voice-as-image and is thus especially intimate and expressive. It’s intensely in the moment and that’s exactly why we desire to share and view them.


Through this example of modern photo sharing, the distinction being made here is between social services that are primarily fixated on content versus communication. All social media is both, of course, but not all media focus on both equally.

Today’s dominate social services are very concerned with the media object, the singular slice of experience that is pulled apart, made discrete, placed in a profile or stream, and given all sorts of metrics to quantify how many people appreciate it. More simply, dominant social media organize their sites and your experience around these media objects, be they photos, videos, chunks of text, check-ins, and so on. They are the fundamental unit of experience for you to click on, comment on, and share. A photo is posted, and the conversation happens around it, side-by-side, on the screen.

Alternatively, one key component of ephemeral social media—appreciated by its users but unexplored in most analyses—is that it rejects this fundamental unit of organization. There are no comments displayed on a Snap, no hearts or likes. With ephemerality, communication is done through photos rather than around them.

That media object, say, a photo, is the ends of dominant social media, but merely the means for services that are ephemeral, letting the media object fade away and making disposable the very thing that other services are built upon. Like the proliferating selfies, the actual photographic object is merely a byproduct of communication rather than its focus.

By diminishing the importance of the media object, by making it disposable, the emphasis is placed on communication itself. This goes a long way to explain the intimacy of a Snap versus a static image shared on another site. Other services, even their direct messaging components, are organized by and around persistent media objects. This is the media based sociality that gives social media its name.

An image becomes a photograph, in part, by having borders. The frame makes the photo. Tellingly, a Snapchat usually exists unframed, full-screen, more moment than an art object. Less than sharing experience-trophies and hoping communication happens around them, an ephemeral network leaves the art objects to fade in favor of focusing on the moments, the experience, the communication; more social than media, more social than network.

Perhaps the reason most of our dominate social media have been fixated on content, on media objects, is because content can be stored. Sociality is treated like information that can be indexed as search engines do to the Web. Photos and the rest are recorded, kept, organized into profiles to be measured and tracked and ranked. It made sense, that’s largely what people used desktop computers to do. Perhaps it was the rise of the mobile phone, where people do less information searching and more communicating that revealed this as a flawed model for organizing anything social. I’m concluding on a highly speculative note here, but it is certainly time to rethink sociality based so fundamentally on media objects.

One can still understand the appeal of the media object and why we continue to want to produce and consume those beautiful moments placed within a photo border. The band you are watching at their most intense, the sun setting, the family gathering, meeting a famous comedian: there’s certainly a place for the important photo, saved permanently. As I often argue, ephemeral and permanent social media work together rather than in opposition. Even Snaps are often turned into great pieces of art.

But as easy as it is to appreciate the importance of those special moments, it is equally easy to underestimate the seemingly banal moments in-between. Those who study the social world appreciate the complexities of the seemingly trivial. What is often thought to be the boring, mundane parts of everyday life are instead profoundly important. Minor social groomings make up the textures of our lives: saying hello, smiling, acknowledging each other, our faces, our stuff, and our moods from good to bad. Permanent social media have a difficult time capturing these important trivialities in a comfortable way. And this is exactly where ephemeral social media excels; built for everyday communication in its fleeting, often fun, always important nature. By not trying treating social life as just about capturing moments as trophies, ephemeral social media is more familiar, it emphasizes everyday sociality, and that is anything but trivial.

Nathan Jurgenson, Researcher

Find Friends Abuse

When we first built Snapchat, we had a difficult time finding other friends that were using the service. We wanted a way to find friends in our address book that were also using Snapchat – so we created Find Friends. Find Friends is an optional service that asks Snapchatters to enter their phone number so that their friends can find their username. This means that if you enter your phone number into Find Friends, someone who has your phone number in his or her address book can find your username.

A security group first published a report about potential Find Friends abuse in August 2013. Shortly thereafter, we implemented practices like rate limiting aimed at addressing these concerns. On Christmas Eve, that same group publicly documented our API, making it easier for individuals to abuse our service and violate our Terms of Use.

We acknowledged in a blog post last Friday that it was possible for an attacker to use the functionality of Find Friends to upload a large number of random phone numbers and match them with Snapchat usernames. On New Years Eve, an attacker released a database of partially redacted phone numbers and usernames. No other information, including Snaps, was leaked or accessed in these attacks.

We will be releasing an updated version of the Snapchat application that will allow Snapchatters to opt out of appearing in Find Friends after they have verified their phone number. We’re also improving rate limiting and other restrictions to address future attempts to abuse our service.

We want to make sure that security experts can get ahold of us when they discover new ways to abuse our service so that we can respond quickly to address those concerns. The best way to let us know about security vulnerabilities is by emailing us: security@snapchat.com.

The Snapchat community is a place where friends feel comfortable expressing themselves and we’re dedicated to preventing abuse.

Finding Friends with Phone Numbers

Occasionally computer security professionals and other helpful people reach out to us about potential bugs and vulnerabilities in Snapchat. We are grateful for the assistance of professionals who practice responsible disclosure and we’ve generally worked well with those who have contacted us.

This week, on Christmas Eve, a security group posted documentation for our private API. This documentation included an allegation regarding a possible attack by which one could compile a database of Snapchat usernames and phone numbers.

Our Find Friends feature allows users to upload their address book contacts to Snapchat so that we can display the accounts of Snapchatters who match the phone numbers found in the address book. Adding a phone number to your Snapchat account is optional, but it’s helpful for allowing your friends to find you. We don’t display the phone numbers to other users and we don’t support the ability to look up phone numbers based on someone’s username.

Theoretically, if someone were able to upload a huge set of phone numbers, like every number in an area code, or every possible number in the U.S., they could create a database of the results and match usernames to phone numbers that way. Over the past year we’ve implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do. We recently added additional counter-measures and continue to make improvements to combat spam and abuse.

Happy Snapping!

Who Can View My Snaps and Stories

Two questions we get a lot are “do you keep all of the Snaps?” and “do you look at them?” An earlier blog post detailed how Snaps are stored and when they are deleted, so now with the introduction of Stories, we’d like to share a bit about access.


As mentioned in our previous blog post, Snaps are deleted from our servers after they are opened by their recipients. So what happens to them before they are opened? Most of Snapchat’s infrastructure is hosted on Google’s cloud computing service, App Engine. Most of our data, including unopened Snaps, are kept in App Engine’s datastore until they are deleted.


Is Snapchat capable of retrieving unopened Snaps from the datastore? Yes—if we couldn’t retrieve Snaps from the datastore, we wouldn’t be able to deliver them to their recipients desired by the sender. Do we manually retrieve and look at Snaps under ordinary circumstances? No. The ordinary process of sending Snaps to their recipient(s) is automated.

So what is a circumstance when we might manually retrieve a Snap, assuming it is still unopened? For example, there are times when we, like other electronic communication service providers, are permitted and sometimes compelled by law to access and disclose information. For example, if we receive a search warrant from law enforcement for the contents of Snaps and those Snaps are still on our servers, a federal law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) obliges us to produce the Snaps to the requesting law enforcement agency. For more information, see the section of our Privacy Policy that discusses circumstances when we may disclose information.

Since May 2013, about a dozen of the search warrants we’ve received have resulted in us producing unopened Snaps to law enforcement. That’s out of 350 million Snaps sent every day. 

Law enforcement requests sometimes require us to preserve Snaps for a time, like when law enforcement is determining whether to issue a search warrant for Snaps.

Only two people in the company currently have access to the tool used for manually retrieving unopened Snaps, our co-founder and CTO, Bobby (who coded it), and me.

Okay, so what about Stories?

The biggest difference between Stories and Snaps is that unless deleted by the user, Stories are available for 24 hours and can be viewed repeatedly in that time. Unlike unopened Snaps, which are stored until viewed or for 30 days if not opened, Snaps that have been added to your Stories are deleted from our servers after 24 hours. Stories are subject to the same legal requirements for access and disclosure as described above for Snaps.

Community Guidelines

Our Terms of Use and Community Guidelines let you know the rules for using Snapchat. If we receive a report that a user is breaking the rules, we may review the Story they’ve posted and take appropriate action. This may include deleting a Story, showing a warning on an account, or even terminating an account.

Our Privacy Policy contains more information about our practices. We hope this post has given you a better sense of how we operate. We are constantly amazed by your creativity and enthusiasm. Thank you for building such an awesome community.

Micah Schaffer, Snapchat Trust & Safety