Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging and image sharing apps on the App Store today, thanks to its unique twist: snaps disappear shortly after being seen or read. This focus on keeping photos, videos, and messages temporary and disposable helps keep things quick and casual, rather than requiring you to keep a lengthy, complete archive of a serious conversation. Since its debut in 2011, Snapchat has added a ton of new features, regularly overhauling the app and updating older features to stay relevant. One of the most popular features in Snapchat is the Best Friends list, an algorithm-driven selection of your friends on the app, chosen on the basis of how often you engage with them.
Best Friends rolled out as a feature in 2016, and it’s undergone some changes since then, including changing your friends’ Best Friends data to 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 your top contacts are listed on the app 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. At most, eight of your contacts can be listed as your best friends. 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 expect them to stay on your friends list. Although they may appear there for a moment, they’ll eventually fall off as your contact with the dwindles to zero.
You can find your Best Friends list in your Send To screen. 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 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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