Snaps and Chats

Just like talking to someone in person or on the telephone, having a conversation through Snaps and Chats allows you to express whatever is on your mind at the time, without automatically creating a permanent record of everything you’ve ever said. Of course, you can also choose to save a Snap before you send it and recipients can always take screenshots. You can also save a message in Chat by pressing and holding on it — Snapchat makes it easy to save what’s important and discard the rest.

My Story

If Snaps are about having conversations with select people, Stories are about expressing yourself to a wider audience. You can share your Story with your friends or the entire Snapchat community. Sometimes, if a public My Story is popular, it may be featured in Discover and elsewhere to reach a wide audience. Snaps in your Story are posted for 24 hours. You can also remove the Snaps in your Story at any time and anyone can save them.

Memories

Memories makes it simple to browse and edit Snaps that you’ve saved, and reminisce anytime.

Memories was developed with privacy and security in mind. We recognized early on that just because someone wants to remember something, doesn’t mean that they want to share it with others. We all have private thoughts and moments, which some people might keep in a diary or family photo album. Backing them up online helps prevent them from being lost, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your privacy or security. That’s why when you move a Snap to “My Eyes Only” and select a passphrase, it is protected by strong encryption and no one can view it without the passphrase. Not even us. But be careful, that goes for you too! If you forget your passphrase, there’s no way to recover it.

Lenses

Have you ever wondered how Lenses make your eyes well up with tears or rainbows come out your mouth?

Some of the magic behind Lenses is object recognition. Object recognition is an algorithm designed to understand the general nature of things that appear in an image. It lets us know that a nose is a nose or an eye is an eye. But object recognition isn’t the same as facial recognition. While Lenses can recognize faces in general, they can't recognize a specific face.

Advertising

We are committed to creating products that make the Snapchat app better for Snapchatters. That’s why our ad products are built from scratch, specifically for Snapchat. These include things like movie trailers in Discover, as well as Sponsored Geofilters and Lenses.

Your choices matter. Everyone is different and no one is going to like everything they see, so we make it easy tap to skip a video if you’re not into it, including ads. Ultimately, you decide what to watch, and which Lenses and Geofilters to use on your Snaps.

We want you to feel understood. We want to understand what’s relevant to you and your life, and we want to show you things that you’ll care about. At the same time, we don’t want to serve ads that are so custom-tailored that they feel invasive or uncomfortable. It’s a difficult balance and we may not always get it right, so we are counting on Snapchatters for feedback; please consider sharing your experiences with us.

Spectacles

Spectacles allow you to capture a moment as you experience it, without the distraction of a phone blocking your view. We made them into sunglasses because they are meant to be used when you’re out in the world — whether you’re on an adventure or just going about your day. Spectacles help you make memories you can relive again and again.

Spectacles can hold about 100 Snaps in storage. When you open Snapchat, Spectacles are designed to automatically transfer those Snaps to Memories. By default, Memories are backed up to Snapchat servers when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

We’ve designed Spectacles so that every time you take a Snap, a ring of LEDs will light up to let those around you know you’re recording. Each Snap includes video and audio and is up to 30-seconds long — Spectacles aren’t designed for continuous recording.

Our Community Guidelines have always said to be thoughtful and respect people’s privacy, and these ideals apply equally when you’re using Spectacles. Please be respectful and considerate of others.

Your Snapchat Account

Accessing your information. We have created a self-serve feature on our website that allows you to access information we have collected from and about you. Simply go to accounts.snapchat.com, click My Data, and we will let you know when your information is ready to be downloaded.

Account Security

It’s hard to have privacy if you don’t also have security. That’s why we provide you with features like login verification (also known as two-factor authentication) to secure your account, and why we take considerable efforts to secure our own infrastructure. But there are also some steps you can take:

  • Be sure to pick a strong and unique password. We know it may be easier to use the same password for all your apps, but to keep your account secure please use your creative juices to come up with a unique password—and one that isn’t “Password123.”
  • Turn on login verification. This is an important feature that can add an extra layer of security if your password or your device is ever compromised.
  • Don’t use third-party apps. Third-party applications and plugins (or tweaks) are not supported by Snapchat and can compromise the security of your account.

Search

Search lets you find Stories on just about any topic. Search takes Snaps that are submitted to Our Story and automatically threads them together based on common themes and locations.

A tremendous number of Snaps are submitted to Our Story every day, but not all of them will make it into search results or be seen by a wide audience. The length of time Snaps stay in Search varies — some may quickly drop out, while others could stay up for months. The process is almost entirely automated, so if you see something that’s miscategorized or violates our Community Guidelines, please help us improve Search by reporting it.

Snap Map

The Snap Map lets you see where your friends are and what’s happening around them, as well as what’s happening all over the world. To open the Snap Map, pinch your fingers on the Snapchat camera screen.

You can choose to share your location with friends in Snap Map settings. If you don’t open the app for 8 hours, your location will be removed from the Map until you open Snapchat again. We may also remind you if you leave location sharing enabled for a while.

Snaps that have been submitted to Our Story can show up on the Map — but not every Snap will be shown. Most of the Snaps on the Map are selected through an automated process. When it seems like something interesting may be happening in an area, a Story thumbnail might show up on the Map. For the most part these are also created automatically, while Stories that are labeled as “Featured” receive a more hands-on approach.

Please be mindful of the Snaps you submit to Our Story. Although the Map only shows the general area where a Snap was taken, things like landmarks appearing in a Snap can reveal a more precise location. As always, if you see something that violates our Community Guidelines, please report it by pressing and holding on the Snap, and selecting the “flag” button.

Location

Snapchat uses your device’s GPS to provide all kinds of location-based features. For example, we use your device’s location to know which Geofilters to display and where to position the Map to show you what’s nearby. We also use your location to figure out what to show you — so people in France see French publishers, French ads, and so on.

We store GPS locations for a short period of time to help improve the Map and other features. You can still use Snapchat if you disable location permission in your iOS or Android settings, but many of these features won’t work right without it. Sometimes we can infer an approximate location like a country or city based on an IP address, but it’s not perfect.