How Often Does the Best Friends Data Update in Snapchat?

Posted by Robert Hayes on July 30, 2019

Snapchat is a highly popular chatting and image-sharing app with a unique twist; snaps (the app’s term for messages or pictures sent from one user to another) disappear shortly after having been read. This creates a sense of quick, casual conversation rather than a lengthy and complete archive of a serious conversation. Since its 2011 debut, Snapchat has added a sometimes bewildering variety of features, and has regularly overhauled the app so that pre-existing features change radically. One of the most popular features on the app is the ‘Best Friends’ list, an algorithm-driven selection of your friends on the app, chosen on the basis of how much and how often you engage with them.

Best Friends rolled out as a feature in 2016. Since that time, it has had some changes; for one thing, you used to be able to see your friends’ Best Friends list, but the information is now private. One question many Snapchat users have brought up is what the frequency is for the Best Friends algorithm to update your list. Does a giant mainframe somewhere run a batch job once a day? Or what? In this article, I will explain how often the Best Friends data updates in Snapchat, as well as discussing several other aspects of this feature.

What is the Best Friends Feature?

Your Best Friends in Snapchat are your friends with whom you interact the most. Sending a snap, receiving a snap, or participating in a group chat together all increase your interaction score. Snapchat’s algorithm then puts all your friends in order of their level of interaction with you, and a certain number of the top scorers (but no more than eight) are listed as your Best Friends. If you have relatively few friends on Snapchat, or don’t talk to your friends very often, then you may not have any Best Friends at all, or only have one or two. Snapchat only looks at the last week or so when it calculates your Best Friends list, so you can’t just exchange a thousand messages with someone one day and then never talk to them again and have them stay on your Best Friends list.

You can find your Best Friends list in your Send To screen. That’s the screen you go to if you hit the Send To button (at the upper right of your Friends screen) to start a new chat. The Best Friends list appears at the very top of the list of friends. In addition to being on the list, your friends will have emojis next to their name to indicate what exact type of friend they are. The emojis are:

  • A yellow heart is for Snapchat Best Friends.
  • A red heart is for your BFF, which is a best friend for two weeks.
  • Two pink hearts is for two months, where the person becomes your ‘Super BFF’.
  • A grin emoji is for someone you share as a best friend with someone else.
  • A smirk emoji is for when you’re their best friend but they aren’t yours.
  • A smiley is for those second and third Snapchat Best Friends.
  • Sunglasses emoji means you share a best friend with someone else.
  • The fire emoji is for a Snapchat Best Friend you’re on a Snapstreak with.

How Often does Snapchat Best Friends Update?

Snapchat hasn’t publicly specified how often the algorithm runs, but the app seems to be updating all the time. I have literally sent one message to one person, and had there be an immediate change to my Best Friends list as a consequence. It seems very likely that the algorithm runs in real time and everything you do immediately changes the data that makes up your Best Friends list. However, depending on your use history with the app, for those data changes to actually change your Best Friends list results may take some time.

For example, if you have relatively few friends with whom you chat only occasionally, then sending and receiving a few messages with one person could make a major change in that person’s standing on the Best Friends list, which could cause the list to change. On the other hand, if you have hundreds or thousands of friends and send snaps and chats all day, then it will take many many messages before there are any big changes in your list.

How Can I See My Best Friend List?

From the Home page, tap on the Friends button (the little chat balloon in the lower left). Then tap the Send To button (the little chat balloon in the upper right). Your Best Friends list will be at the top of your friends list, right above your Recents list. You can also get to the Best Friends list by taking a snap, then tapping the blue arrow at the bottom right of the screen to go to your Friends page, where they will have their own section.

Snapchat Best Friends is one of the many neat features of the app that keeps things simple and effective. If you want to know just who you interact with most on Snapchat, now you know how!

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3 thoughts on “How Often Does the Best Friends Data Update in Snapchat?”

Paul Hayes says:
My best friends list went from 8 to 6 on Friday. Why did this happen? I did not block or delete anyone. I haven’t been snapping a lot
Alana says:
If you haven’t been snapping all 8 of your best friends consistently (every day or every other day,) they eventually drop off your list.
Sally says:
Question. So my best friend on Snapchat recently supposedly blocked someone off Snapchat who was once one of their best friends. She had the emoji. My best friend said he deleted her but she still has the emoji by her name. I think he’s lying about deleting her just because she still has the emoji by her name but i don’t want to assume. It’s been 5 days and it’s still there. How long does it typically take for that emoji to go away?
Amanda says:
Lmao I’m in the exact same situation does anyone know the answer?
Janam Vaidya says:
Out of this 8 best friends, if none of them have a yellow heart with me, which of these 8 is my #1 best friend
Samuel Sui says:
Top of the list is your #1 best friend, but you’re not their best friend

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