Snapchat is among the most popular and most widely used messaging and chat platforms. The network boasts in excess of 150 million daily users from all over the world. The app is most popular in English-speaking countries, Scandinavia, India, and Japan. It is also popular in France, Portugal, and several other EU countries.
The automatic deletion of messages after they are read or seen is Snapchat’s main feature and it’s been so since the platform’s launch back in 2011. It is well known that Snapchat deletes messages, videos, and stories, but does Snapchat also delete unread snaps?
How Snapchat Works
Snapchat’s main feature and the main marketing point is that all texts, photos, and videos get deleted when certain conditions are met. Usually, opening the content (be it a text, photo, or video) will get it deleted within seconds. Once it is deleted, it’s gone for good. The video/photo stories, however, get deleted after 24 hours, much like Instagram stories.
Snapchat also deletes all unopened content, with different criteria in place for specific situations and different types of content. Some will be deleted sooner (unread chat messages will be deleted after 30 days), while others will be sent down the drain in as little as 24 hours since sending (text messages in group chats).
What About Unread Snaps?
Unread snaps, like all other unread content, are deleted after they expire. Depending on the context, unread snaps may be deleted after 24 hours or 30 days. Here’s how Snapchat will handle your unread snaps:
- If you have sent a snap in a one-on-one chat, Snapchat’s servers are set to delete the unopened snap after 30 days. If the recipient opens the snap within 30 days, it will be deleted as soon as it’s seen.
- If you have sent a snap to a group chat, Snapchat’s servers will wait for 24 hours before they delete it. If, however, all participants see the snap within the designated timeframe, the snap will be deleted before the time expires.
Snaps You Can’t Delete
If you were wondering whether you can delete the snaps you send to your friends before they are set to expire, get ready for some bad news. There is little, if anything, users can do to delete the snaps they send. Officially, there is no “Delete” option for the snaps like there is for messages.
Some of the methods users have tried include:
Deleting the Account
Some users have tried this method, hoping that all their communication would be deleted along with the account. However, Snapchat waits for 30 days before deleting the account for good and, with it, keeps all the messages and snaps sent to and by the deleted account. If you take this route, your snap will remain visible to the recipient and Snapchat will delete it once they open it.
Blocking the Recipient
Have in mind that by blocking the recipient, you are also removing them from your friends list (you also get removed from theirs). If you block them before they open the snap you don’t want them to see, your conversation will disappear from their profile, along with the problematic snap. However, the snap and the conversation will still appear on your account.
Snaps You Can Delete
Snapchat will not allow you to delete a snap you sent to a friend. However, you are able to delete snaps you submitted to Our Story. The snaps you contributed to Our Story can be viewable around the platform for various amounts of time. Some will be available for 24 hours, while others might be available for much longer. Here’s how to remove them:
- If it is a snap you posted less than 24 hours ago, go to the Stories screen and tap the button next to “Our Story”. Next, find the snap you want to remove, open it, and tap the trash bin icon at the bottom of the screen. This will remove it from Search, Context Cards, and the Map.
- If it’s been more than 24 hours, in Settings, go to “Our Story Snaps” to see the ones that are still active. Find the one you want removed and tap the trash bin icon to remove it.
Snapchat also allows you to delete snaps from a Custom Story at any time. If you do not delete them, Snapchat servers will do so 24 hours after posting.
Snapchat deletes all snaps posted on the platform. It makes no difference if you sent them to a friend or posted to a chat or Story. Some, like the snaps sent to friends, get deleted after 30 days, while the ones posted in chats and Stories go after 24 hours.