Does Snapchat Notify you When Someone Views your Story?
Snapchat presents its users with a unique social experience, one that takes the idea of permanence that often comes with social networking, and tears it to shreds. Snapchat is based entirely on the idea of fading memories, photos and videos that don’t last forever and are designed to be temporary. When created with this source of time constraints, Snapchat often becomes an art form. Selfies and embarrassing videos of you and your friends become instant shares instead of being tossed away for fear of repercussions. Capturing the moment around you becomes instinctual and instantaneous instead of feeling forced or manufactured, and considering the temporality of it all, Snapchat feels effortless in its everyday use.
The biggest feature, and perhaps the most important to the legacy of Snapchat, is the Story feature, which allows you to place photos and video snippets on your profile for your friends to view for up to 24 hours after. Despite Snapchat’s stumbles over the last 18 months as a platform, it’s obvious that Stories are an important cultural invention, adopted by Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms for their own personal use. If you’re trying to figure out how Snapchat Stories work, and more importantly, whether they notify you when someone views your Stories, you’ve come to the right guide. Let’s take a look at how Stories work and notify you in Snapchat.
Notifications Within Snapchat
Some applications allow you full customization when it comes to receiving notifications, but Snapchat isn’t one of them. Your notifications work one way and one way only, and you’re stuck with either turning them on off. Ask anyone who has tried to turn off the notifications for when someone begins typing in your chat window—the customization opens within Snapchat is limited to say the least.
So, despite the app notifying you when someone begins doing something as simple as typing, Snapchat’s menu for changing your notifications doesn’t include anything about Stories outside of receiving occasional notifications when your friends post Stories. You may receive notifications about memories, birthdays, or other content, but when it comes to receiving notifications about who viewed your Story, expect your phone to stay silent. It’s an unfortunate missing feature, one we hoped would eventually make an appearance within the app, but unfortunately, it seems as though we’re out of luck for now.
How Do You See Who Viewed Your Story?
While you may not be able to receive notifications for who has viewed your story, you can still see who actually did view it. They may not push you a notification, but Snapchat does allow you to view which of your followers have and haven’t seen your story. It’s a really interesting idea for making this type of network feel a bit more personable, while also knowing exactly what actions people make while viewing your story. While you won’t get any notifications for someone viewing your story twice like you will when someone replays a direct snap, you will receive a notification when someone’s screenshotted your story. Let’s take a look how all this is done.
From the stories screen inside of Snapchat, find your story at the top of the page. You’ll notice several small icons to the right of your story, highlighted in gray. Tap the triple-dotted vertical line icon on the far-right side of your display. This will drop down your story display, showing you each individual photo or video you’ve added to your story in the past twenty-four hours, plus any captions you’ve added to that story so as to identify which photo is which. On the far right of this screen, you’ll see purple icons in the shape of eyes, plus a number to the left. These icons and numbers represent the people who have viewed your story (in our example screenshot, forty-five people viewed the first snap, while forty-two people viewed the second).
It’s not good enough just to know the numbers, though—you need to know the names of who specifically has or hasn’t viewed your story. Snapchat allows you to do that too. Just tap on the eye-con from the display inside Stories, which will open your photo or video playing in the background (if it’s a video, the sound will be muted), along with a list of the names that have viewed your story. This list is in reverse-chronological order, with the top of your list showing you who most-recently viewed your story, and the bottom of your list showing you who least-recently viewed your story. If any of your friends have screenshotted your story, you’ll see a small screenshot icon (two arrows crossed with each other) next to their name.
Finally, you can also view this information from inside your story while viewing it. Tap on your story to view the visuals. At the bottom of the display, you’ll notice a small arrow pointing up on your screen. Swipe up on this arrow to load a full display of the names. You can swipe down to dismiss this display as well.
Customizing Who Can View Your Story
Checking who has viewed your story is great if you’re trying to see if your best friend or your crush has checked out your account, but what if you’re trying to block someone from viewing your Story instead? Well, if you’re worried about someone seeing your Story who shouldn’t, you don’t have to keep checking your viewed panel—Snapchat allows you to customize this right from the start. Open up your profile panel, then click on the settings menu in this list. Scroll down to the “Who Can…” menu, then select “View My Story.”
Here, you’ll find three options to pick from:
- Everyone: Everyone who follows you can view your Story, even if you don’t follow them back. This is great if you’re trying to become a vlogger or other internet celebrity, but for the most part, we don’t recommend this setting.
- Friends Only: For most people, this is the way to go. Those you’ve accepted on Snapchat can view your Story, but if you haven’t accepted them as a mutual friend, they won’t be able to see your Story at all.
- Custom: If you’re looking to hide your Story from anyone, Custom is the way to go. Not only can you block people from seeing your Story, but you can set up Snapchat so that only a small group of people can see your Stories to begin with. It’s a great way to protect your privacy on the platform.
Of course, these settings apply to every Story you post on Snapchat, so you might want to leave this to Friends Only and instead use our final feature in this guide to hide your Story whenever you feel it necessary.
Creating a Custom Story
As hinted at above, you can use custom stories to make sure only a certain group of people see your story. For example, if you’re at an event you only want to share with specific friends or colleagues, you can select certain contacts from your friend group and limit the rest of your connections from seeing that story. Alternatively, you can use a geofenced area to share your story with anyone, whether you’re friends with them or not, as long as they’re in your fenced off area. Basically, this means your stories become public attractions for anyone at your event to look at. For example, if you’re at someone’s birthday party or graduation party, you can celebrate with everyone there, whether you’ve made connections with the people around you or not. This also allows friends of friends to contribute, so that nearby neighbors aren’t posting random stories unless they know of someone at your event.
To start these custom stories, head to the Stories tab inside of Snapchat and look at the top purple banner. At the top-right of your display, you’ll see a plus icon. Tapping on this icon will invite you to name your story (“Jenna’s Birthday Party!”, “Greg’s Graduation,” etc.). Once you’ve named your event, you’ll have the option to set your parameters for the security and privacy of your event. This includes an option geofence (turned off by default) that, when enabled, will show you a map of your location, along with an estimate of your current address (you can edit the name of your geofence, which defaults to your address, in order to hide your address from others). Geofence areas can’t be adjusted or moved—it’s centered around your current location.
Once you’ve decided whether or not you want a geofence, you can decide to set who can add and view the story. If you’re willing for everyone at your event to add and view, setting both to “Friends of Friends” is the best way to do it. This means that your contacts, plus all your contacts’ contacts can contribute and watch your story at once. If you want to keep things a bit more private, you can limit everything to just your circle of friends on both adding and viewing stories. You can also keep viewing to your friends of friends while setting contributions to just your friends if you want a happy medium between the two settings.
The story will appear as a featured story under your own story but above the postings of your friends. To watch your custom story, tap on the menu just as you would with anyone else’s posts.
Though you can’t receive notifications for who has or hasn’t viewed your Story, thankfully, you can rely on Snapchat to at least allow you to check your viewed list manually. With custom stories and filters designed to offer privacy and limit people from viewing your Story, Snapchat does allow you to have some knowledge of who’s looking at what, so long as you remember where to look. For more Snapchat guides, stay tuned to TechJunkie, or check out our other Snapchat guides here.