What Is a Snapchat Story?

Share snaps in a narrative style

A Snapchat story is a photo or video you post to your Stories feed. Stories live for 24 hours, and people can view them as often as they want during that period. Once the 24-hour time limit is up, Snapchat automatically deletes the story.

Instructions in this article apply to Snapchat for iOS and Android.

How to View Snapchat Stories

Open the Snapchat app and swipe left from the camera tab to see Snapchat stories. Alternatively, tap the Stories icon (the two silhouettes) in the toolbar. Tap anybody's name to view a friend's stories in the order they were posted.

If you've been snapping with someone, another way to see their stories is to look at their profile icon in your Conversations tab. Their profile/Bitmoji icon will turn into a clip of their story, which you can tap to watch instantly.

Swipe left from the camera tab or tap the Stories icon (the two silhouettes) in the toolbar.

If you want to limit who can see your stories, you can change your Snapchat privacy settings so that only friends or a customized group of users can see them.

How to Post a Snapchat Story

You can use a few methods to post a story on Snapchat. The easiest is to tap + My Story at the top of the Stores tab. You can view your current stories on your profile. When you post a story, your friends will see it appear in their stories section. You'll also be able to see who viewed your story.

Add and view stories on Snapchat

How to Post a Snapchat Story Using the Camera

You can also post a story from the camera tab. Snap a photo or record a video the same way you would if you were going to send it as a message. On the preview screen, tap the square with a plus sign at the bottom of the screen, then tap Add.

Add a snap to your Snapchat story

It's possible to delete a Snapchat story before it automatically deletes itself after the 24-hour expiration period.

Why Use Snapchat Stories?

Snapchat stories allow users to share their entire day in a narrative manner. Your stories give friends a brief look at what interesting things you've been up to in the past 24 hours.

Stories are popular because they're not permanent, so you don't have to worry about the content sticking around on your profile forever. There's also no pressure to garner tons of likes or comments since these features are not present.

People who have large followings can also take advantage of stories. Snapchat has always been known as a private messaging app, but stories offer a more public way of sharing. Lots of celebrities, brands, and other high-profile users share their Snapchat usernames or snapcodes so that any stories they post can be viewed by the thousands of users who decide to add them.

It's possible to take screenshots of Snapchat and even record the screen, so other users can save your photos and videos that way.

  • How do you make a private story on Snapchat?

    You can make a private story on Snapchat from the Snap tab. Snap a photo or record a video and tap +New Story > Private Story (Only I can post). Choose the contacts you want to share it with and tap the checkmark to post your Private Story.

  • What does s/u mean on a Snapchat story?

    Typically, S/U is an acronym that stands for "Swipe Up" for different frames of a Snapchat story. However, people might also use it in place of "Shut Up," although this is less often the case. Considering the context will help determine the intention of the acronym.

  • How do I add music to a Snapchat story?

    To add sounds to your snaps, tap the music note icon > play icon > Next. Alternatively, tap + Create Sound at the top of the Featured Sounds tab to record your own sound.

  • What does a lock mean on Snapchat?

    If you see a lock symbol next to a Snapchat story, it means that the story is private. You are one of a select few individuals who can see the story.

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