What Are Snapchat Streaks and Why Do They Matter?

Snapchat streaks, or Snapstreaks, represent the number of days that you’ve managed to send a photo or video snap to your Snapchat friend. 

For high school children, Snapstreaks represent their friendship. Essentially, it signifies that two friends keep in touch every day by sending snaps daily. You may have heard your children talk about quickly sending snaps so they don’t lose the streak, but you didn’t know what they were talking about. 

It’s always important to stay on top of what the children are up to, so here, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Snapstreaks, how Snapstreaks work, and whether or not they are a cause for concern.

How to Start Snapchat Streaks?

You must send your friend snaps, and they must send snaps back for three consecutive days to start a Snapstreak. When you have a streak with your friend, you’ll see a fire emoji next to your Snapchat friend’s name.

There are several other Snapchat emojis associated with Snapstreaks. For instance, as you grow your streak with your friends, you’ll also see a number next to the fire emoji. 

When you have a long streak of 100 or more days, Snapchat will add a red 100 emoji. When you have an even longer streak, perhaps with your best friend, you’ll see a mountain emoji next to the person’s name.

If your Snapstreak is about to break, i.e., you and your friend haven’t sent snaps in a 24-hour window, you’ll see the hourglass emoji next to your friend’s name. This means you can’t just keep sending snaps on your own and keep your Snapstreak going; your friend must also send a snap back every single day.

However, if you believe you and your friend exchanged snaps, but still lost the streak, you can contact Snapchat support.

How to Keep the Snapstreak Going?

You can only keep your Snapstreak going by sending photo or video snaps to your friend and receiving one in return every 24 hours.

A lot of other things you do when you use Snapchat don’t count towards your Snapchat streak. Following is a list of things that won’t help you keep your Snapstreak going:

  1. Chatting with your friend
  2. Sending a pic or video snap to a group of Snapchatters (However, this might increase your Snapchat score)
  3. Snaps you send to Snapchat users from your Memories (i.e., you don’t click them right before sending them)
  4. Adding stories to your Snapchat account
  5. Any videos recorded using your Snapchat spectacles

Why Do Snapstreaks Matter?

For young people, a long streak is a token of strong friendship. Think of a streak as a numeric value that defines how close two friends are. It’s almost like a competition among young people.

If someone has a longer streak with their best friend, their bond is seen as stronger. And everybody wants the longest streak, just to prove the strength of their friendship. It’s easy to see how this could be a problem. 

There’s a pressure to maintain longer streaks, which means responding to snaps regardless of other factors. 

Snapstreaks can also cause self-esteem issues for children who feel that other people have stronger bonds than they have with their friends.

Should Parents Worry About Snapstreaks?

Not always. Making your child delete their Snapchat account and villainizing Snapstreaks at the get-go isn’t appropriate. On the contrary, Snapchat can be a valuable asset that will feed data into parental control apps about who children interact with. 

However, if you see something you don’t like, perhaps your child interacting with someone you’re not particularly feeling confident about, you may need to reconsider. 

It’s easy for children to get carried away when they’re focused on something that’s emotionally rewarding — for instance, breaking the record for the longest Snapstreak in their peer group. When this happens, obsession is a potential concern.

Should You Keep Your Child From Maintaining Snapstreaks?

Snapstreaks, in most cases, are a manifestation of your child’s bond with a close friend. They are not inherently harmful. However, you can have a family discussion about how maintaining Snapstreaks isn’t rewarding, and how going the extra mile doesn’t really offer a benefit.

It’s also important to realize that a Snapstreak will likely break at some point. Your child will have a family visit, a birthday party, or a vacation to distract them. 

If you feel it’s warranted, you may consider making small changes to the child’s schedule to allow them less time to spend with certain social media platforms. In worse cases, you can use parental controls to keep the child from using the Snapchat app obsessively.

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