SnapChat Etiquette 101

Snapchat is a real time picture sharing app for friends to fearlessly communicate fun and playful self destructing images. With over 60 million messages being sent a day, SnapChat continues to intrigue an audience of young users who have finally found a platform where fleeting messages both entertain our transitory attention spans and our growing love of selfies.

As more people become aware of this revolutionized form of communication, I’ve received more inquiries, curious to whether there is an etiquette to the way we send and receive snap chats.  SnapChat is prided for its lack of formality, however, we still need to be aware that while the snaps themselves might be short-lived, the aggravation one might feel after receiving a 10 second snap of your cat sleeping might not be as ephemeral.

So to avoid any rookie SnapChat mistakes, I created a list of top dos and don’ts to be mindful of next time you share that special moment or inside joke with a friend.


1. Be mindful of timing. Images with more type and markers should be set longer to give the receiver time to read and register that you have safely landed in NYC without anybody noticing your baby blanket that you still travel with for comfort.

2. Be aware of surroundings. It might seem standard to take a psychotic looking selfie on the subway to let friends know you are on your way to happy hour, but this is not yet socially acceptable and could very easily offend the less technological savvy person sitting across from you.

3. Give someone 24 hours to open. Sometimes a SnapChat is best opened in a private and safe environment.  Once read, try to respond in a timely matter or not at all.

4. Use text and the marker tool to showcase your skills of whit and brevity. We want to know if that face means you just met your future husband or if you are just shocked that your future seems about as unpredictable as the last status update your Uncle posted.

5. Keep snaps tasteful and appealing. A friendly snap has a remarkable way of temporary brightening a friend’s mundane or hectic workday.  Take advantage of its capability to brighten someone’s day.


1. Screen Shot. Would you want your double chin to go viral? If you do screenshot, the sender will be notified.

2. Send photos of landscapes, food, or multiple images of your pet. Images that look better polished and filtered should be kept on instagram and facebook. SnapChat was designed to share a more raw and vulnerable version of yourself with an intimate group of friends.

3. Continue to send SnapChats to people who don’t counter snap. Just like you would not continue to text someone who wasn’t reciprocating, you don’t want to keep sending snaps.

4. Send nude or sexually explicit photos. Just as quickly as SnapChat was built, your reputation can be destroyed. The ambiguous nature of new technology does not give us any excuse to confuse self-expression with lack of self-respect.

5. Take yourself too seriously. The more chins the better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s