Snaps & Chats
Just like talking to someone in person or on the phone, having a conversation through Snaps and Chats lets you express whatever’s on your mind at the time — without automatically keeping 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 a screenshot. You can also save a message in Chat. Just tap it. Snapchat makes it easy to save what’s important, without being bogged down by the rest.
Voice and Video Chat allow you to check in with your Friends. If you just want to leave a voice message, we’ve got you covered, just press and hold the microphone to record a Voice Note.
Snaps and Chats are like snippets of a personal conversation, while Stories are more like, well, a story you’re telling to a larger group of friends.
You can share Snaps in your Story with just your friends, or with the entire Snapchat community. Sometimes, if a My Story is set to viewable by 'Everyone' and becomes popular, it may be featured in Discover and other places so more people can see it! Snaps in your Story are posted for 24 hours, though you can remove them from your Story at any time.
Our Story, Spotlight & Snap Map Snaps
Snaps you submit to Our Story, Spotlight, or Snap Map can show up in Spotlight, Stories, Discover, Search, on the Snap Map, or even on third-party platforms — for example when someone shares your Snap to another platform or service. Keep in mind: Snaps that are submitted to Our Story, Spotlight, and Snap Map are Public Content, and your Snap may still appear off Snapchat if it has been shared off of Snapchat! Also, Our Story, Spotlight, and Snap Map submissions may be stored indefinitely and may be visible on Snapchat for long periods of time — sometimes for months or more. If you’d like to remove a Snap you’ve submitted to Our Story, Spotlight, or Snap Map, you can do so by going to your profile.
Profiles make it easy to find the info and Snapchat features that you care about the most! There are a number of different Profiles on Snapchat, including My Profile, Friendship Profiles, Group Profiles, and Public Profiles.
My Profile features your Snapchat info, like your Bitmoji, location on the Map, friend info, and more. Friendship Profile is as unique as each individual friendship, this is where you can find Snaps and messages you’ve saved, and this also where you can manage your friendship, and report, block, or remove the friend. Group Profiles showcase your saved Snaps and Chats within a Group Chat.
Public Profiles enable Snapchatters to be discovered in the app. If you want a Public Profile, you will need to create one first. Once you’ve created a Public Profile, you can showcase your favorite public Snaps, share your Lenses, and other information. Other Snapchatters will be able to subscribe to your Public Profile. Your subscriber count is turned off by default, but if you want you can turn it on in Settings.
Spotlight allows you to discover the world of Snapchat in one place, and shines a light on the most entertaining Snaps, no matter who created them!
Snaps submitted to Spotlight are public and other Snapchatters will be able to share them both on and off Snapchat. Your Profile is where you will be able to control and see an overview of Spotlight Snaps you’ve submitted. You can also favorite Spotlight Snaps, when you do so we will add it to your favorites list and use it to personalize your Spotlight experience.
As you explore and engage with more Spotlight Snaps, we will tailor your Spotlight experience and show you Spotlight Snaps we think you will like. For example, if you can’t stop watching dance challenges, we will show you more dance related Spotlight Snaps.
Memories makes it easy to look back on Snaps you’ve saved, and even edit and resend them!
Memories was developed with privacy and security in mind. Early on, we recognized that just because you want to be able to look back on something, doesn’t mean that you want everyone else to be able to, too!
After all, diaries and photo albums exist for a reason — they’re something private you keep to look back on a memory, or share them with someone special. That’s why only you can view your own Memories!
Keeping Memories backed up online helps keep them from being lost, but that shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your privacy or security. That’s why we made “My Eyes Only,” which lets you keep your Snaps safe and encrypted, and protected behind a password you choose. That way, even if someone steals your device and logs in to Snapchat somehow, those private Snaps are still safe.
Without the password, no one can view the things you’ve saved to My Eyes Only — not even us! Be careful, though, because if you forget your password, there’s no way to recover those encrypted Snaps.
Ever wonder how Lenses swap your face with a friend’s or give you puppy dog ears?
Some of the magic behind Lenses is due to “object recognition.” Object recognition is an algorithm designed to help a computer generally understand what objects are in an image. In this case, 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 tell what is or isn’t a face, they don’t recognize specific faces!
Snap Kit is a set of developer tools that let you easily share Snaps, Stories, and Bitmojis with your favorite apps or from apps and websites to your Snapchat account! When you choose to connect to an app or website, you can review and customize the information that is shared through Snap Kit. You can also remove an app or website’s access at any time right in Snapchat settings.
If you haven’t opened a connected app or website in 90 days, we’ll automatically remove its access, but you may need to contact the developer if you have questions about any data that has already been shared.
We are committed to creating products that make Snapchat better for everyone, which is why our ad products are built from scratch. These include things like movie trailers in Discover, or Sponsored Filters and Lenses.
Every single person is different, and no one is going to like every ad they see. If an ad isn’t relevant to you or you don’t think it belongs on Snapchat, you can always let us know by tapping ⋮ , then tapping ⓘ to report the ad to us!
We want to show you ads that are relevant to you and your interests — but we don’t want to serve ads that are so custom-tailored that they’re invasive or uncomfortable. It’s a difficult balance and we may not always get it right, so we’re always counting on Snapchatters for their feedback. Share your experience with us, if you have a moment!
Spectacles are sunglasses that capture your world, the way you see it. Just press the button to save the moment, in the moment — without having a phone get in the way. We specifically made Spectacles sunglasses because they’re meant to be used when you’re out in the world — whether you’re on an adventure or just going about your day.
Whenever you take a photo or video with Spectacles, LEDs will light up to let your friends know that you’re recording.
Our Community Guidelines have always asked Snapchatters to be thoughtful and respect people’s privacy — and that same philosophy applies to Spectacles, down to their design!
Your Snapchat Account
You can view and edit most of your key account information and privacy settings right inside of Snapchat. But if you’re curious about something that’s not in our apps, you can visit accounts.snapchat.com, click ‘My Data,’ and then click ‘Submit Request.’ We’ll gather your account information and let you know when it’s ready for you to download. If you ever want to leave Snapchat for good, you can close your account on accounts.snapchat.com too.
It’s hard to have a sense of privacy if you don’t feel safe and secure too. That’s why we provide you with features like Login Verification (a form of two-factor authentication) to secure your account, and why we take considerable efforts to secure our own infrastructure. But there are also a few extra steps you can take to keep your Snapchat account especially secure:
Pick a strong and unique password: It may be easier to use the same password for all your apps, but to make sure your account’s secure, try flexing your creative muscles to come up with a long, unique one — and no, “Password123” isn’t going to fool anyone. If you have trouble remembering passwords, consider using a password manager to generate secure passwords that you don’t have to memorize! Whatever your method, remember: never share your password with anyone, just to be safe.
Turn on Login Verification: This is an important feature that uses two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security, if your password is ever compromised.
Don’t use third-party apps: Third-party applications and plugins (or tweaks) are not supported by Snapchat, and can sometimes compromise the security of your account. We strongly suggest that you don’t install any, just to be safe!
Use Scan to find a song, shop, or even calculate a math problem! To access Scan, either press and hold on the Camera screen, or tap on the Camera screen and then tap ‘Scan’ in the AR Bar. Scan options will appear across the carousel.
To power Scan, Snap partners with third parties like Amazon, Shazam, and Vivino. This means that when you press and hold on the Camera screen, certain information may be sent to these partners. For example, we may send images captured by your camera to Amazon, who’ll send back search results if they find a matching product. Similarly, we may send audio hashes captured by your microphone to Shazam, who’ll send back any matching songs.
Voice Scan lets you do useful things like search for lenses. To power Voice Scan, Snap has partnered with SoundHound, which provides recognition and understanding technology. When Voice Scan is used, Snap and SoundHound may receive audio recordings.
To activate Voice Scan, you will be prompted to say “Hey Snapchat.” This will take you to the onboarding flow. This initial recognition to get you to the onboarding flow only happens on your device — no recording is sent to Snap or our partners. Once Voice Scan has been set up, you can use it by saying “Hey Snapchat” and recordings may be captured.
Snap and our partners use the data collected in Scan and Voice Scan to provide you with relevant search results, track metrics around search activity, and help improve search algorithms and product features.
Our partners do not receive data about which Snapchat account is making a search. Snap and our partners retain the images and audio collected during the search for only a short period of time.
At the moment, Amazon Camera Search is only available to Snapchatters in the US.
Snap Map lets you see where your friends are, what’s going on around them, find your favorite restaurants and bars, and even see what’s happening across the world!
You won’t appear on Snap Map until you open it for the first time and choose to share your location.
If you don’t open the app for 8 hours, you won’t be visible on the Map until you open Snapchat again. You can always update the people you’re sharing your location with in Snap Map settings, or go into ‘Ghost Mode’ to hide your location from everyone. We may also remind you if you leave location sharing enabled for a while.
Snaps that have been submitted to Our Story and Snap Map can also show up on the Map — but not every Snap will appear there. Most of the Snaps on the Map are selected through an automated process.
When it looks like something interesting is happening, a Story thumbnail might appear 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. Snaps posted to Snap Map are also viewable on the web at map.snapchat.com and are embeddable on other websites.
Please be mindful of the Snaps that you submit to Our Story and Snap Map. Although the Map only shows the general area where a Snap was taken, things like landmarks and street signs appearing in a Snap can show where you’re at, if you’re worried about that kind of thing.
Places make it easy to interact with local businesses on the Snap Map. Just tap a Place on the Map to view the place’s listing, or tap Search at the top of the Map screen to find a Place. Places provide a personalized Map experience, and you can even order food from your favorite restaurant via one of the delivery partners.
Snapchat uses your device’s GPS to offer certain location-based features. For example, we use your device’s location to provide Geofilters based on where you’re at or what’s going on around you, or we can use your location to position the Map to show you what’s nearby. We also use your location to figure out what you’d like to see — so people in France see content from French publishers, French ads, and so on.
We store GPS locations for a while to help improve the Map and other features. For example, we may store some of the locations you visit the most so we can show you more relevant Search content or update your Bitmoji’s activity on the Map. We may also store location information of the Snaps you save in Memories or submit to My Story, Our Story, Spotlight, or Snap Map to personalize your experience.
You can still use Snapchat if you disable location permissions in your device’s settings, but many of these features won’t work right (or at all!) without it. Sometimes we can still infer an approximate location like a country or city, based on an IP address — but it’s not perfect.
Cameos lets you be the star in your own short, looping videos that you can send to friends in Chat. To enable Cameos, we ask you to take a selfie to put you into fun scenes. We don’t use facial recognition software. Instead, Cameos segments the shape of your face and hair to place you into the scenes and ensure the Cameos are optimized.
You have full control over your selfie, and can change and delete it, and restrict others from using your selfie in two-person Cameos, in Snapchat settings.
Games and Minis
Games are a fun way to hang out with your friends on Snapchat. You’ll be able to see your friends in a game when you're playing in a Chat with them, and they will be able to see you too. You can invite them to play games with you and enable your microphone so you can talk while you play. Depending on the game, your display name may be visible to other players, both friends and non-friends, when you play. Your friends will also be able to see your score on leaderboards unless you hide your score in Games settings.
Minis are a set of experiences in Snapchat. Whether it’s planning a movie night, making a deck of flashcards, or coordinating which artists to see at a music festival, Minis can bring friends together for just about anything. You’ll be able to see your friends in a Mini while you’re in a Chat with them, and they will be able to see you too. You can invite them to use a Mini. You choose which Mini you want to open and use within Snapchat.
No two people are the same, so the app can tailor your Snapchat experience especially for you!
For example, the friends you Snap with the most are usually easiest to find, and we generally try to show you ads that’ll be relevant to you. We’re able to do this by making some guesses about the things you like and don’t like.
For example, if you’re constantly watching Snaps of puppies on Discover or Spotlight, you might be a “Pet & Animal Lover.” Or, if you regularly post Snaps of your sports memorabilia to My Story, our system might be able to guess that you’re a “Sports Fan.” We call guesses like these “Lifestyle Categories” and we use them to try and show you ads and content that’s relevant to your interests! If you’d like, you can always pick your own Lifestyle Categories.
We personalize the Snap Map. For example, if you apply a venue filter or sticker on a My Story, Our Story, Spotlight, or Snap Map submission, we may use that venue information to create a more personalized Map experience for you and your friends.
We also try to personalize the content you see by using what we call “Content Interest Tags.” These tags are guesses about the content that you may be interested in based on activity, like things you search for, Stories you view, popular users you subscribe to, and types of locations you visit. So if you watch a lot of Stories about basketball, we may create “sports” and “basketball” Content Interest Tags, so we can show you more Snaps about basketball. You can reset Content Interest Tags at any time in Snapchat settings!