Snapchat is one of the world’s most popular social media apps, despite what seems like a highly counter-intuitive premise. Unlike other social networks, Snapchat was built on the idea that posts should be temporary. Instead of archiving everything people said or did forever (like Facebook or Twitter), they decided to act as a daily diary written in disappearing ink.
On Snapchat there is no permanent record of your thoughts and actions (unless people cheat by taking screenshots). That disappearing-content feature made the app popular immediately, as people would post pictures that were perhaps indiscreet without having to worry that the pictures would come back to haunt them at a job interview or college admissions process.
Additionally, Snapchat has added a number of great features to make the app even more enticing. Things like filters, Stories, the Snap Map, and other features have added more fun and unique ways to communicate with your friends.
One common source of confusion for new users (and even some older ones), though, is the numbers that are everywhere in the Snapchat user interface. Whether they be ratings or “scores,” they are absolutely meaningless if you don’t know their meaning, and there’s very little context to help you in figuring out what each individual value means.
Not helping matters is Snapchat’s obscure rules regarding how and when your Snap score increases on your device. It seems like no one knows what their score means or how to increase it.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at Snapchat scores and whether using your groups increasing your numerical value. Let’s dive in.
Snapchat Scores Explained
First, what exactly are Snapchat scores?
Let’s start from the top. From the home screen of your app, open up Snapchat—we’re using the Android version of the app. Regardless of your operating system, you’ll likely find the interface to be the same. When you first open the application, Snapchat starts out in the camera interface, read to take a snap or video.
The first place to look is your profile page. Load that by tapping on the small picture of your Snapchat avatar in the upper left corner of the screen. This icon has a couple of different forms. If you have a Bitmoji account synced with your Snapchat account, you’ll see your avatar appear. If you have snaps posted on your Story, you’ll see a small, circular icon displaying your most recent Story upload. And if you fall into neither of those categories, you’ll see a solid-colored silhouette for an avatar instead.
Once you’ve loaded this display, you’ll see all sorts of information. Beneath your name, you’ll find your Snapcode (which I’ve edited out of the screenshot below), which allows you to share your Snapchat contact information easily. You’ll also see your Snapchat score and an icon showing your astrological sign.
Your Snapchat score is a number that acts as a sort of achievement for how well you use Snapchat. Whether or not Snapchat needs a “scoring” method is another discussion entirely—what’s important here is discovering what that score means, how it rises, and what metrics it’s based on. Let’s take a look.
At the core of the app, you gain points for your Snapchat score by using the app. The concept is simple, but the exact rules for the point system are a mystery. Snapchat doesn’t actually tell users straight out how the points are calculated—their help page on the topic simply states it’s based on an equation combining the number of snaps you’ve sent, received, posted stories, and “other factors,” whatever that last part means. Filter usage, stories viewed, group chats—it could all mean something or nothing when it comes to your Snap score.
So if Snapchat isn’t going to tell you exactly how the equation works, we’ll have to take our best guess. Here’s what we’ve found Snapchat uses to calculate your score:
- Sending and receiving snaps typically equals a point each, with some snaps occasionally equaling more.
- Sending snaps to multiple people at once doesn’t equal more points.
- Posting a story on Snapchat increases your score by a point.
- Viewing and sending chats doesn’t seem to have any impact on your score.
- Viewing other people’s’ stories also has no impact.
Of course, this isn’t directly from Snapchat, so your mileage may vary. Without knowing what “other factors” means when Snapchat describes their equation, it’s impossible to determine exactly how the score is calculated beyond sending and receiving snaps and posting stories increase your score by a single point.
As for why these scores exist? We’ll keep it simple: these scores are around to keep you snapping and to fuel a competition between you and your other Snap users. They serve as a way to retain users. Whether you care about the app enough to feed into the competition is really up to you, but a quick Google search for “increasing Snapchat score” yields more than 617,000 results, so enough people care about scores for thousands upon thousands of guides to be written about it. Which is pretty silly, when you think about it—you only need this guide!
Oh, and a quick tap on your Snapchat score will reveal two new numbers: your number of sent and received snaps, respectively. Maybe not the most important information out there, but definitely interesting for any fans of hard data and numbers.
What about your friends’ Snapchat scores? There are two ways to see your friends’ scores, depending on what user you’re looking for.
First, swipe right from the camera display to enter the Chat display inside of Snapchat. All of your contacts are now listed in this display, along with each Story posted by your friends.
If a user you follow on Snapchat has posted a Story, you’ll see the Story icon over their usual profile icon (either a Bitmoji or a randomly-colored silhouette). However, if there is no Story posted, you can tap on the Bitmoji or profile icon to view the pop-up message displayed below, which will feature their score front and center.
Alternately, if you’re looking for the score of a user who currently has a Story posted on their account, tap anywhere in the white space of the Chat screen to the left of your camera interface to load their Snap conversation display.
In this panel, you’ll find the option to tap on the triple-lined menu icon in the top-left corner of the conversation display. This will open a menu from the bottom of your screen, revealing the Bitmoji, name, username, and score of a friend.
Do Groups Increase Your Snapchat Score?
Using the guidelines set above, it’s easy to see that Snapchat does increase your score when you send a photo or video to a group. Like with everything surrounding Snapchat’s Snap Scores, the company refuses to acknowledge whether or not this is true, but in our tests, it did raise our score as usual.
However, just as how sending Snaps to multiple people won’t increase your score more than once, sending Snaps to your groups will only raise your score once. Though you might have eight people in a group, sending a Snap to a group is equivalent to sending it to a single person. So you won’t be able to jack up your score by sending snaps to big groups.
Likewise, you’ll need to send a photo or video to get points. Like with traditional Snaps, sending a chat doesn’t raise your score.
Essentially, groups are the same as sending Snaps to one person, at least as far as your score is concerned.
How to increase your Snapchat Score
Are you the sort of person who really worries about imaginary Internet points? (I know I am!) If so, then there are ways to increase your Snapchat score, but they involve (surprise!) sending and receiving more Snaps. There’s no other way to quickly increase your score.
One way to do this is to start following people, such as celebrities, and sending them a Snap. Simply by adding a bunch of celebrities, you can increase your score by one for each. As they often post interesting stuff anyway, it’s a win-win.
Some of the best performing celebrities include:
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain @alex_ox15 🐂
- Ariana Grande @moonlightbae 🌙
- Arnold Schwarzenegger @arnoldschnitzel 💪
- Balqees Fathi @balqeeesss ⭐
- Bella Hadid @baybels777 🍕
- Bella Thorne @bellathornedab 🐰
- Bernie Sanders @bernie.sanders 🇺 (USA Flag)
- Blac Chyna @BlacChynaLA 🤑
- Bradley Roby @b.roby ♠️️
- Calvin Harris @CalvinHarris 🐅
- Cara Delevingne @Caradevilqueen (Union Jack)
- Chance @mynamechance 🎲
- Charlie Puth @notcharlieputh 🎹
- Chris Pratt @chrisprattsnap 🙊
- Chrissy Teigen @chrissyteigen 🍕
There are hundreds of others but these post a lot and offer interesting insights too. Send each of them a Snap and your score goes up by one. They may never open it, they may never even look at it but your score increases anyway. Rinse and repeat for as long as you have the patience to get your Snapchat Score up quickly.
Another way to keep boosting your Snapchat Score is to participate in Snapchat streaks. A streak is where a bunch of people send a Snap to each other every day for several days. Keep it up for three days and you get a small flame icon by your name.
Keep it up for long enough and you each boost your Snapchat Scores significantly. Some streaks are kept going for 100 days or more. If you can find reliable friends who also want to boost their score, you’re golden. Just set up a specific time of day for everyone to send their Snap and keep it going. Setting a routine will help everyone manage to provide their Snap and a little gentle encouragement if they forget can help keep momentum.
It is entirely possible to gain a few hundred points using Streaks alone but combine it with your usual Snapchat activity and following celebrities and your score should increase in no time.
Snapchat Scores are very mysterious. At one point or another, every Snapchat user has wondered what this score means and how they can gain more points.
While Snapchat isn’t entirely clear about how these scores work, we’re pretty sure groups do add to your Snapchat score, so go out there and get those points!
Got any tricks to increase your Snapchat Score? Tell us about it below if you do!
If you liked this article, be sure to check out this TechJunkie piece on How to View Your Snapchat Year in Review.