What Is a Snapchat Snap Score and Why Are Kids So Obsessed with It?

By Andrea Nelson
February 7, 2023

You may have noticed your kids obsessing over numbers lately. And no, they're not super into their math homework. The number on the top of many kids’ minds is their Snapchat Snap Score—a number seemingly insignificant to many parents that can nevertheless feel very important to their children. Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about Snap Scores, including how they might be impacting your child’s mental health. 

What Is a Snap Score on Snapchat?

A Snap Score is a representation of how active a user is on the app. It’s a running tally of how often they use different functions within the video sharing app, combined into one number. The more you use Snapchat, the higher your Snap Score. It’s essentially a ranking system designed to keep users engaged with the app that has taken on great social importance with many kids and young adults. 

A user’s Snapscore is displayed at the top of their profile, represented by a light blue version of the Snapchat icon, a ghost known as Ghostface Chillah.

How Snap Scores Are Calculated

Snapchat keeps its Snap Score algorithm – a complex metric for gauging how much engagement a user generates – under wraps, but the basic equation is more engagement with the app equals a higher Snap Score.  

How Snap Scores Increase

Your Snap Score increases the more you’re active in the app. Sending, receiving, and replying to Snaps (pictures), adding friends, and accumulating Snapchat streaks (how many days in a row Snaps are exchanged with the same friend) all drive up your number. Watching videos in the Discover section of Snapchat will also make your score go up. 

How to Get a Higher Snap Score 

To get a higher Snap Score, you must stay active on Snapchat. Sending snaps is a great start. Focusing on making exciting Snaps that people are likely to engage with is one strategy for raising your score. Exchanging Snaps with the same friend every day to earn a streak also bumps you up. Make sure to open and reply to all the Snaps you recieve—that will increase your score as well. And if you’re not feeling inspired to send Snaps, adding new friends on Snapchat and watching videos in the Discover section are all ways to get a higher Snapscore. 

How Often Snap Scores Update

How often Snapscores update can vary anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Generally speaking, the more you use Snapchat, the more often you can expect your score to update. 

Hiding Your Snap Score

Unfortunately, there’s no way to hide your Snapscore altogether. You can hide your Snapscore from specific people, but you must unfriend or block them on Snapchat and then adjust your settings to only display your profile to friends. 

Disabling Your Snap Score

It’s not possible to disable your Snapscore. However, you can set your profile so that only friends can view it, which will make your Snapscore invisible to non-friends. Click on the gear-shaped Settings icon, then scroll to the Who Can section. From there, select Contact Me and change your profile visibility to My Friends. 

Snap Scores and Ghost Mode 

Ghost Mode will not hide your Snapscore—it only hides your location on the Snap Map. 

Snap Score’s Impact on Kids’ Well-Being

Arguably the entire goal of Snap Scores is to entice users to spend more time in the Snapchat app. After all, higher engagement drives a higher score. So if screentime is a concern for you , it’s important to know that a drive to keep their Snap Score high could be keeping your kid on their device more than you would like. 

Additionally, kids often compete with each other for higher Snapscores. Snapscores also serve as social feedback for kids with a higher Snapscore seen as a measure of how well liked someone is. Both of these factors can have an impact on a kid’s self-esteem and mood. 

The Bottom Line

Snapscores are a measure of how much a user interacts with Snapchat. The draw to constantly raise their Snapscore as well as the social currency associated with Snapscores can have an impact on children’s well-being.

It’s important for parents to understand the complicated and important role social media plays in the modern landscape of their kids so they can help them navigate the potential pitfalls. While BrightCanary doesn't currently monitor Snapchat, the app does monitor TikTok and Instagram — two popular apps that kids are likely to use. Monitoring can help start important conversations about online safety and give parents visibility into what their kids are seeing and sending in messages and comments. Download BrightCanary today to start your free trial.

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