Two Snapchat features you probably don’t know about

Users of Snapchat might have noticed a couple of less-than-obvious features within the app. CIO.com’s Lauren Brousell explains what they mean, and how they work.

snapchatting
Credit: Thinkstock

Many social media apps have features that show up when you swipe in different directions, or functionality that isn’t visible at first glance. But Snapchat might have ‘em all beat because it has a handful of hidden features and gestures that are only discovered through frequent usage or word of mouth. Frequent users of Snapchat may have noticed several places within the app that display numbers and emoticons, but most people either don’t know these features exist or don’t know what they mean.

snapchat homepage username score

The Snapchat homepage. Note the numbers next to the username. That's your Snapchat score.

On what you could refer to as the Snapchat home page, you can add friends, see who added you as a friend and view your friend list. You can also add a profile picture and look at settings using the gear button. But what many people don’t notice or don’t know about is the number listed next to the username.

The number is called the Snapchat score – quite simply, it’s the total amount of Snapchats you have sent and received. In my case, as of the other day, I have sent and received a total of 6,058 Snapchat photos and videos since I started using the app.

Snapchat would not comment on why the Snapchat score exists or what its purpose is. It could be a way to gamify the app and entice people to beat their friends’ scores. Or it could be Snapchat’s way of incentivizing people to become power users of the app.  

[Related: Can Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest help marketers reach millennials?]

There’s another hidden feature on the Snapchat feed page, where you can view a list of users you’ve recently interacted with. When you tap on the word Snapchat at the top of the screen (within the green border), two numbers will show up side-by-side. This is your Snapchat score broken down into sent and received.

snapchat feed users friends emojis

Friend Emojis let you know how often you Snapchat with certain friends.

If you’re an avid enough user of Snapchat, you will see emoticons next to some of your friends’ usernames. These are called Friend Emojis and act as indicators of how often you interact with certain users. Various emoticons will pop up including hearts, smiley faces and a flame icon. For example, the hearts will appear next to your best friend on Snapchat; the person you send the most Snapchats to and the person who sends the most Snapchats to you.

Sometimes there will be a number listed next to the flame emoticon for a certain user. Those numbers indicate if you’ve been communicating with a friend for a certain number of consecutive days. For example, I have been sending and receiving Snapchats with a friend for six days in a row. But that number will disappear if we fail to interact with each other in a 28-hour period.

Again, Snapchat did not provide a comment as to why they added the emoticons and numbers next to your friends’ usernames. But overall, these little-known features probably aren’t going to provide a golden ticket for how to navigate Snapchat or how businesses can use it for marketing, rather they may just be there for gamification or as a way for the company to generate buzz and curiosity.

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