Snapchat logo

What are Snapchat Stories?

As many college students can relate, whenever I wake up, I perform my daily ritual of checking texts, emails, Facebook notifications, and Snapchats. Last week, however, when I opened Snapchat to see the morning round of  Snaps, I was surprised to see yet another change in the application. This time, it was more than just a change of the notification button from a circle to a square.

At the very top of my Snapchat list was a video from “Team Snapchat.”

Anyway, this video was different than the ones I had received before. It lasted longer and had a mixture of video and pictures, all rolled into one Snap. What was this weird new version of Snapchat? And that’s when I discovered Snapchat Stories.

Snapchat Stories, the app’s newest update, allows users the option to string together pictures and videos taken throughout the day. Similar to other social media sites (particularly Facebook’s timeline), this “slideshow” is public for all Snapchat friends. But, unlike its rivals, Snapchat’s picture/video chain feature only lasts for 24 hours–thus maintaining Snapchat’s vision of sharing media temporarily.

Screenshot of Snapchat stories
Screenshot of Snapchat stories

How to create your own Snapchat Stories

When you take a picture or video, you now have the option of sending it to specific friends, just like before – or adding the picture/video to “My Story” – by pressing the third button to the right (double rectangle with a star).

By choosing “My Story,” you have allowed yourself the ability to view that picture/video as many times as you want up to 24 hours. You have also allowed all Snapchat users in your friends list to view the picture/video, but they can only view it once (again just like before).

You can add to your story by taking more pictures and videos and continuing to choose the “My Story” button. The pictures/videos are stored sequentially. Each individual “link” in the chain disappears after its specific 24-hour time limit is up, making room for new pictures/videos.

Your Story never ends and it’s always changing,” Snapchat said in a blog introducing the new feature. “The end of your Story today is the beginning of your Story tomorrow.”

Because Snapchat wanted all users to get acquainted with the update at the same time, it released Snapchat Stories simultaneously on iOS and Android.

Have you tried Snapchat Stories yet? Let me know how you like it!

Take the next step.

Harness the power of information with a Bachelor's in Information Management & Technology.

Get Started

Jackie Grossman

Jackie is a junior Information Management & Technology and Television/Radio/Film dual major at Syracuse University. Beyond the classroom, she enjoys discovering new TV shows/movies, playing softball, and hanging out with friends. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @JackieG_12

More Posts - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn

  • Kristen

    I sent a comment where is it

    • Jackie G

      Hi Kristen! Thanks for reading…yes, you are right about how many times friends can view the stories. The stories only last in the recent updates for one view but if you want to view it again, you must scroll down to the specific friend. Great catch!

  • Kaylaababyy

    On my snap chat story it shows me who all viewed it and at the bottom it says + 1 more … Why doesn’t it show me the name :s

    • Jackie G

      Hi Kaylaababyy! A lot of people seem to be wondering this…I did a bit of research and someone suggested two possibilities. One, it may mean that someone you have added has not added you back, or two, someone who you have not added as your friend may have been able to view your story. If the second possibility is the case, it may be a good idea to go into your snap chat settings, scroll down to “View My Stories,” and select “My Friends” instead of “Everyone.” Hope this helps!

      • Ashley Budd

        If they didn’t add you, wouldn’t they not be able to view your story?

  • Cat

    Meh it’s ok

    • Jackie G

      Hey Cat! Thanks for your input

  • dog12

    If someone screen shots your story will it notify you?

    • Jackie Grossman

      No, it will not.

    • Hayley

      Yes, snapchat notifies you

  • Hailey

    I cannot figure out how to link my picture and videos together into one story? I understand how to add things to my story list but it’s makes them all individual.

    • Jackie Grossman

      Thanks for reading! I’m not sure what you mean when you say you understand how to add pictures and videos to your story list but it makes them all individual. Snapchat stories just allows you to broadcast a chain of pictures and videos in the order you took them. The videos and pictures will not all be shown at once (I am picturing something like Picstitch).

    • Jackie G

      Hi Hailey! Thanks for reading. I’m not quite sure what you’re looking to do. Snapchat Stories is just a feature that functions as a temporary timeline for your friends to see. It’s similar to how a timeline works on Facebook…your friends can see the individual pictures, videos, etc. in sequential order. The only difference is that Snapchat Stories’ timeline videos/pictures exist for 24 hours and then disappear. Hope this helps!

  • Mat

    If I screenshot a photo on story will it show it was screen

    • Jackie Grossman

      No, it will not.

    • Jackie G

      Hi Mat! Yes, your friend will be notified of your screenshot.

  • Jiji

    I just had one of mine screen shot and yes it shows a the regular screen shot symbol but its green and it tells you how many screenshots that person took.

    • Jackie G

      Hey Jiji! Thanks for your input!

  • Alexis


    • Jackie G

      Hi Alexis. I hope you were able to figure out this problem.

  • Artemisa

    Can my friends know if I watched their “story”? (I mean do they get a notification when I watch their stories) ?

    • Jackie G

      Hi Artemisa! Yes, you friends will know if you watched their story. If they double-tap on their story, a list of who has seen their story will appear.

    • Buddy Weiser

      Yes it is a possibility they could make it to your top friends

  • Ariel

    I’ve noticed that when I add a picture to my story some people are receiving it as if I sent the snap to them specifically.

    • Jackie G

      Hi Ariel! Hmm…that’s strange. Is this still happening to you?

      • Corey Taylor

        that happens like 50 percent of the times for me aswell, usually specific users are always shown as new snap and story. but I thought they may have marked all friends on the list and sent, and then it automaticly became story??

  • john

    how do i see who all has viewed my snapchat story?

    • Jackie G

      Hi John! Just tap on your story and a list of who saw it will appear. Hope this helps!

  • Hayley

    If someone adds you as a friend on Snapchat, but you don’t have them as a friend on your Snapchat, can they still see your stories?

    • Jackie G

      Hi Hayley! Until you friend someone or accept someone’s friend request, they cannot see their stories. If your friend requests you, you can see their stories but that’s it.

      • Linda Chanthakhinh

        Hi Jackie, I am a bit confused to your comment. Let’s rephrase this.
        1. Someone added me as their friend, my snap is private, only friends can view and not everyone, I do NOT intend to add that person back.
        -You are stating that if they added me as a friend and I do not intend to add them back, I will only be able to view their snap stories? Even if their snap is private for friends to view only? I find that incorrect, I have 3 friend request that added me and I am choosing to not add them back and I have not yet seen their snaps yet.
        2. If I added a celebrity whose page was unprivate, how do I know if they added me back in the future?
        Example: I added Kevin Hart as a friend however, I am not able to leave a message until the end of the snap stories, but another celeb I added gives me the ability to hit the chat button at the bottom of each snap pictures/videos they take on each individual chat just like if its your friends following you and you following them. Does that mean the celebrity is actually following you back? And since they were unprivate to begin with, I won’t get a notification from that celeb that they added me back as a friend?????

        • Katie

          Hi Linda,

          This blog post was originally written in 2013, so keep in mind that things may have changed since then! I hope I can still answer your questions.

          On Snapchat, There are currently two settings for who can contact you (send you a private message via Snapchat):
          – Everyone
          – Friends only

          And there are currently two settings for who can view your Snapchat stories:
          – Everyone
          – Friends only

          For your first question:

          If a person has added you as a friend, and you have not accepted their request or added them as your friend, you will not be able to see their stories and they will not be able to see yours if you have your Snapchat Story permissions set to “friends only.”

          Only until you choose to accept them as a friend will you be able to see their stories / receive snapchat messages from them. You will only see the Snapchat stories of the users that you have added/followed.

          For your second question:

          For Snapchat stories: you will see the “chat” button at the bottom of a story posted by someone who has added you as a friend on snapchat, and who you are also following (AKA, you follow each other).

          If you added someone who has a public (AKA Everyone can see their stories and contact them) Snapchat but they have not added you back, you can still message them by sending them a normal Snapchat – but you will not be able to use the “chat” button on the bottom of snapchat stories like you would with your friends.

          It’s possible that the reason you can’t “chat” with Kevin Hart but you can with another celebrity is just a personal choice on the Snapchat user you’re following. Some more popular Snapchat users may opt to follow everyone who follows them so that their fans can use the “chat” feature and it’s easier to interact. It seems to me that while Kevin Hart has not added you as a friend, the other celebrity you follow may have added you as a friend.

          As for Snapchat notifications: It’s possible that if you have requested to follow a user, Snapchat assumes you you wanted that user to follow you back. So Snapchat may not notify you when someone you have asked to follow, follows you back.

  • Lauren

    can you turn off the stories…. they are getting pretty aggravating. Also when I defriend someone does it notify them?

    • Jackie G

      Hi Lauren! I don’t believe you can turn off stories. The good news is that unless your friends continue adding to their stories, they will disappear. Your friends will not get notified if you defriend them.

  • idkk

    if u watch someones snap chat story more than once does tell them that u watched it more than once ?

    • Jackie G

      Hi idkk! I don’t believe it shows them if you’ve seen their story more than once, but it may show the new time you watched the snap. So if you watched it 4 hours ago and then 1 hour ago, your friend can see that you watched it 1 hour ago.

  • Sarah Parker

    Next to someone’s name who viewed my story it shows like a green play button, what does that mean

    • Jackie G

      Hi Sarah! The two green triangles means the someone took a screenshot of a portion of you story.

  • Dan

    If you view someones story offline, will you come up as a viewer or no?

    • Jackie G

      Hi Dan, I’m not really sure what you mean by viewing snapchat offline. It’s an app that links to your phone/contacts…so yes you will always come up as a viewer.

  • tay

    It took me foreverrrrrrrrr….. to understand snapchat stories until today. In my quest to understand snapchat stories I constantly click on the video. Can they see how many times i click on a story?

    • Jackie G

      Hi Tay! They won’t be able to see the number of times you’ve viewed a story, but they will be able to see the timestamp of when you last viewed it.

  • Sophia Kaplan

    Okay say I sent somebody a picture and that picture wasn’t actually for them. Then I blocked the person, can they see the picture still? Even though I blocked them.

    • Jackie G

      Once you block someone, they shouldn’t be able to see your picture

  • Jackie G

    Hi Eli! I’m not sure what you mean when you say add someone else to your story. Your story broadcasts to all of the friends in your snapchat contacts.

  • Jackie G

    Hi! Thanks for reading! Unless your son accepts a request to be a snapchat friend from a stranger, they will not be able to send him snaps.

  • ⓚαⓨcⓔ ღ αⓡмⓢтⓡσⓝg ☀

    If i add a story will someone i blocked still be able to see it?

  • m

    If I block someone on snapchat can they still see my stories or see my best friends?

  • Emily

    Ok if I send a snap to one person but don’t hit anything to add it to my story does my snap automaticaly get added to my story??? And if you have a story are you able to view it yourself or can only friends view?

  • Emily

    Ok if I send a snap to somebody do I have to add it to my story myself or does it add automatically?? And if I have a story will I be able to view it myself or can only my friends view it?

  • Lia Nandi

    I can’t see all the people that viewed my story. It says +124 and shows a few names after that, but not all the names.

  • Buddy Weiser

    Yes it is a possibility they can make it to your best friends. Hope this helps!

  • HLN✨

    Hi, so recently i posted a snap and blocked someone people for them to not see it and now today i unblocked them and also posted a snapchat, they couldnt view it? 🙁

  • Loz

    Hi Jackie. If I add a photo to my storyline, does it notify my friends that I’ve added a photo? I have been adding lots of pics lately and just realised I may be annoying the crap out of my friends if they keep getting an alert every time I post something! Let me know. Thank you!

  • Annahope7

    When someone new adds me they are not able to see my story why not?

  • Destiny blue

    On my snapchat story I saw someone had screenshot it so I went to view it and it said +2 more and on another +1 more I need help!….