Snapchat is a popular social media application that made it’s way to the top due to its user privacy culture. Sending snaps and messages that leave no trace, automatically deleting content, and alerting users if a screenshot was captured, Snapchat has some quirky features.
If you aren’t openly familiar with the application, there are a lot of things to learn. Even the most seasoned Snapchat users have questions about the deletion of messages. Snapchat messages are set to delete automatically after they were read (or 24 hours depending on your settings). Users can also manually delete these communications. So how will you know whether someone deleted a message you’ve sent them?
This piece was prompted by a larger discussion around Snapchat that brought up quite a few questions within the team. Even though we are all experienced social network users, there were still things we didn’t know. Some of the questions that came up are listed below.
Can you tell if someone deleted your conversation on Snapchat?
It depends on how the chat was deleted. If the chat was removed after viewing—or after 24 hours, depending on your chat settings—that’s considered a normal feature, and you won’t be alerted that a chat has been removed.
However, Snapchat now allows users to delete chats after sending them by holding your finger on the chat and selecting the option to delete. While you can remove a message for any reason—whether it’s because of a typo or because of a missent message—the other user will see that a message has been removed from chat.
On the other hand, if a user removes their entire chat histories from settings, that will not alert any senders of clearing the cache—largely because it only clears history on the active users’ side.
If I remove someone as a friend, can they still see the last message I sent?
Yes. Once the message has been received by the other person, you lose control of it. The server has delivered the message to the other person’s device. The message will still appear on their Snapchat account.
There are a few third-party apps that claim to remove the message from another user’s inbox. Unfortunately, we’ve tested some of these and they do not seem to work. As stated above, once a message is sent to another person, the server puts that message in their inbox taking it out of your control.
One tried and true method of removing a message is deleting your Snapchat account. Depending on the content you’ve sent, deleting your account is a drastic move, but perhaps, a necessary one.
Can someone tell if you forward their Snapchat to someone else?
No. Snapchat does not notify the original person who created the Story that it has been forwarded on. It tells them who initially saw it, but not what happens after that.
I tested this out while preparing this piece and no notification was received when someone forwarded a Story of mine.
Can you block someone’s Snapchat story without removing them as a friend?
Snapchat does give you the option to ‘mute’ someone’s story. Visit the offender’s profile and tap on the three vertical dots located in the upper right-hand corner. Tap ‘Mute Story’ so that it turns blue.
Fortunately, Snapchat does not send an alert to another user if you mute their story or block their account. There are a few ways to know if someone has deleted you from their Snapchat friends’ list . Although there aren’t any official ways for your friends to see if you’ve blocked them, there are some tell-tale signs.
You can also skip them. Just swipe left when the Story appears and Snapchat will move on to the next. Socially this is a much easier and safer option, as it will offend nobody, and you won’t have to explain to your friend that they can’t find you on Snapchat anymore because you thought they were boring.
‘Sorry! Couldn’t find Username’ Have I been blocked?
Surprisingly, only one of us has ever seen this message. That tells us we are either all boring and inoffensive or we have forgiving friends. So what is the message telling us? If you see ‘Sorry! Couldn’t find Username’, it usually means you have been blocked by that person.
Rather than tell you in plain English, Snapchat thought it would be a gentler let down if they just said the app couldn’t find them.
What and how can chats be deleted in Snapchat?
You can obviously delete all chats and Stories on your side of the app, but not when other people have received them. If you’re spring cleaning and want to clean out conversations, you can clean out your chat feed.
To clean out your chat feed:
- Open Snapchat and select your profile icon in the top left.
- Select the menu icon–the one that looks like a gear–to access settings.
- Scroll to Clear Conversations within the Privacy heading.
- Tap the ‘X’ next to conversations in the next window to delete them.
You can delete your Stories, too, if you like. They self-destruct after 24 hours, but if you want to accelerate that you can.
- Open Snapchat and click on your profile icon in the top left corner.
- Select the Story you want to delete from the list.
- Select the small up arrow at the bottom of the Story.
- Select the trash icon and confirm.
This will delete it from Snapchat with immediate effect. If someone is already viewing it, they will be able to finish it as it already loaded for them, but once closed it will disappear.
You’ve likely noticed by now that Snapchat can be rather lax when it comes to notifications. The brief nature of Snapchat likely plays a part in it; when the user-base is already accustomed to communications disappearing within a day. If users were sent a notification about every activity of another user, it would likely lose its appeal over time.
We take a lot of knowledge for granted, especially when it comes to things we use every day. We may use Snapchat constantly, but as our discussion demonstrated, there are things we can all still learn.