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How Does Snapchat Determine Your Best Friends? Algorithm 

Snapchat and other social media apps are based on the “friend” model. Friends in an app, like friends in real life, are the people we interact with the most and have the closest relationships with. As anyone who has gone through middle school or junior high can attest, the number and quality of friends one has can play a significant role in determining one’s social standing.

It should come as no surprise that some people obsess over who is listed as their best friend in Snapchat, just as they did in middle school. Many of Snap Inc.’s algorithms are kept under wraps, but the team at TechJunkie has deciphered how Snapchat ranks your best friends, how to add someone to your best friend list, and Snapchat’s reasoning for how their algorithm works.

How Does Snapchat Determine Your Best Friends? Algorithm 
How Does Snapchat Determine Your Best Friends? Algorithm 

How Does Snapchat Determine Your Best Friends? Snapchat Best Friends Algorithm

Your Best Friends on Snapchat are the people you snap and chat with the most. Users can’t see each other’s Best Friends lists, but ’emoji indicators’ reveal shared best friends. This is covered in greater depth in the Snapchat Emoji Meanings section below.

You can have up to eight best friends, who will appear on the ‘Send To’ screen and in the Chat section of your profile when you send a Snap.

Snapchat is notoriously secretive about the algorithm that determines your Best Friends list, as well as the factors that go into the rankings, though we do know that the list updates in real-time as users interact with different friends.

Prior to 2018, the algorithm analyzed users’ interactions with one another over the course of a week and generated an ordered list based on the number of interactions. The algorithm is now more complicated, taking into account group chat participation, the number of Snaps sent, and other factors.

How are Snapchat’s Best Friends Ordered?

Prior to 2018, the algorithm for determining whether a friend was a best friend was fairly simple, even if the exact details were kept hidden due to Snapchat’s secrecy about the app’s underlying rules. Basically, Snapchat would look at your interactions with other users over the last seven days and create an ordered list based on how many times you sent people snaps and how many times they sent you snaps. The top three to seven friends on that list (usually three to seven people) would then be declared your best friends.

Unfortunately, Snapchat changed the way your friends are sorted in early 2018. Their new algorithm is more complicated, taking into account factors such as your participation in group chats. The app also includes a hierarchy of emojis for different types of best friends. You can have a regular best friend, a best friend who has been in that status for two weeks, a best friend who has been in that status for two months, an almost-best-friend, and so on.

You can have up to eight best friends, making it difficult to determine who is truly at the top. It’s simple to see who’s on your best friends list: simply tap the New Chat icon in the top right corner of the Snapchat home screen, and your best friends will appear at the top of the friend list.

How Do Snapchat Stories Work?

On the Stories screen, you can watch your friends’ Stories, publisher and creator Stories, Shows, and more. 

Stories are broken into three sections: 

  1. The Friends section shows your friends’ Stories at the top of the screen.
  2. The Subscriptions section shows all of the Stories and Shows that you’re subscribed to.
  3. The Discover section shows third-party stories.

Swipe left on the Stories screen to see what’s new in the Spotlight section, which features “the most entertaining Snaps” from the Snapchat community. Users can submit a Snap to Spotlight by first creating a Snap and then selecting ‘Spotlight’ from the ‘Send To’ screen at the top.

How to Make Someone Your Bestie

Proactively adding someone to your best friends list takes a little more effort. You can’t just volley a hundred messages with a friend in an hour and expect to appear on each other’s lists because the algorithm looks at engagement over time. It will take time and determination.

If you constantly engage with that person by sending them snaps and encouraging them to reply and engage with you, the algorithm should be able to recognize after a few days that the status of your relationship has changed fundamentally, and reward you with that prized emoticon in your friends’ list.

Who Can See Your Friends’ Best Friends List?

Nope. In their first major redesign three years ago, Snapchat made Best Friends lists private, despite the fact that you could see more information from your friends on their profiles. Despite the fact that the app has since been redesigned, this information has yet to be made public.


Snapchat, like the Best Friends algorithm, will not reveal how Snap score is calculated. It does, however, consider the number of Snaps you send and receive, as well as the number of stories you’ve shared.

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