The Complete Guide to Creating and Managing Private Stories on Snapchat

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Have you ever wanted to share silly selfies, inside jokes, or personal moments with just your closest friends on Snapchat? The solution is to create a private Story!

A private Snapchat Story allows you to choose specific friends who can view snaps that you don‘t want to share publicly. It‘s visible only to the friends you pick.

In this comprehensive guide, you‘ll learn everything you need to know about private Snapchat Stories:

  • What is a private Story and how is it different from a regular Story?
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to make a private Story
  • How private Stories work and who can see them
  • Tips for using private Stories effectively
  • How to manage settings and audience for an existing private Story
  • Private vs. custom Stories – what‘s the difference?
  • Potential risks and how to use private Stories safely

Let‘s dive in!

What Are Private Snapchat Stories?

Snapchat Stories allow you to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. They string together to create a narrative "Story" of your day.

By default, when you post to your Snapchat Story, it‘s visible to all of your Snapchat friends. But not everything is meant to be public!

A private Story is a Story that‘s visible only to particular friends you choose. When you create a private Story, you select specific friends who can view and contribute to that Story.

Private Stories are marked by a purple ring and padlock icon, rather than the standard yellow ring. Only the friends you designate will see the padlock icon and be able to view that Story.

Private Stories are perfect for:

  • Inside jokes between close friends
  • Vacation photos you only want to share with family
  • Embarrassing or silly moments
  • Personal memories and nostalgic throwbacks

You have complete control over your audience, so you can feel comfortable posting more personal snaps without worrying about who might see them.

According to Snapchat, over 30% of Stories created daily are private Stories. They are very popular for both everyday sharing and special events.

How to Create a Private Story on Snapchat

It only takes a few taps to create a private Snapchat Story. Here are simple step-by-step directions:

Create a Private Story from the Camera Screen

  1. Open the Snapchat app and tap the camera icon to access the camera.

  2. Take a snap or video as you normally would. Add filters, text, etc.

  3. Tap the "Send To" icon in the bottom left corner.

  4. Select "Create new Story" at the top of the list.

  5. Tap "Private Story" then name your private Story.

  6. Check the boxes next to each friend you want to include. Search for names too.

  7. Tap the ✅ checkmark once you‘ve picked friends.

  8. Tap the → arrow to post the snap to your new private Story!

Make a Private Story from Your Profile

You can also easily create a private Story from your profile:

  1. Tap your profile icon in the top left of Snapchat.

  2. Scroll down and tap the “Add” icon next to “Stories.”

  3. Select “Private Story.”

  4. Check friends to include and tap "Create Story."

  5. Name your private Story then tap “Create Story.”

Once you‘ve made a private Story, post additional snaps to it the same way you would with your regular Story. Just choose the private Story before sending.

And that‘s it! Now you know how to make private Snapchat Stories in just a few taps.

How Do Private Stories Work?

Private Stories give you control over exactly who can view your Snapchat Story.

When your friends view a private Story you‘ve created, it will have a purple ring icon instead of the usual yellow one, along with a padlock in the center. This indicates that it‘s a private Story.

Only the friends you selected when first creating the private Story will be able to see it. If someone not included tries to view your private content, it will simply appear as your public Story, or nothing if you don‘t have a public one.

Private Stories function just like any other Story:

  • They last for 24 hours before disappearing.

  • Friends you include can contribute their own snaps.

  • You can replay snaps once before they vanish.

  • You can save snaps by long-pressing on them.

  • Friends won‘t get notified if you screenshot their snaps.

So a private Story really isn‘t that different from your main Story. The ONLY difference is that you control who can see it.

This gives you freedom to post sillier, sexier, or more personal content without worrying about who might view it.

According to a Snapchat spokesperson, private Stories account for over 30% of Stories created each day. Clearly they are very popular!

Managing Settings for Existing Private Stories

Once you’ve made a private Story, you can change its settings and audience at any time. Here’s how:

  1. Tap your profile icon > Stories.

  2. Tap the ••• icon next to a private Story.

  3. Select “Story Settings.”

In Story Settings you can:

  • Add or remove friends

  • Change the Story name

  • Allow or disable contributors

  • Delete the Story altogether

So if you want to kick a friend off your private Story, just update the audience in Story Settings. You can also change the name to keep things ambiguous!

Pro Tip: To save snaps before a private Story expires, press and hold each snap to bring up the “Save” option.

Tips for Using Private Snapchat Stories

Here are some tips to use private Stories effectively and safely:

  • Name them something vague like “Best Friends” instead of details.

  • Rotate your audience to keep things fresh and exclusive.

  • Use them for inside jokes, personal memories, family events, etc.

  • Share fun moments from a trip or night out.

  • Be selective – not everything needs to be private.

  • Don’t overshare or post anything risky/illegal.

  • Screenshots are always possible so think twice before posting.

  • Remember privacy does not equal permanence. Snaps still expire in 24 hours.

  • Update settings if you no longer want someone to have access.

  • Save any snaps you want to keep before the Story disappears.

Follow these tips to get the most out of private Snapchat Stories!

Private Stories vs. Custom Stories: What‘s the Difference?

In addition to private Stories, Snapchat also offers "custom Stories." But what‘s the difference between private and custom Stories?

Private Stories allow YOU to pick who can view and contribute to them. Only your designated friends will even know that private Story exists. You remain fully in control.

Whereas with custom Stories, you can invite friends to both view and ADD TO the Story. So it becomes collaborative – anyone you invite can post snaps.

You use custom Stories for events, groups, or family. Private stories are for super personal content.

The key differences:

Private Story Custom Story
Who can view Only friends YOU pick Friends YOU pick
Who can contribute Only you Any friends you include
Best for Personal, private content Group events, family, friends

So in summary:

  • Private Stories = full control, personal, just for you
  • Custom Stories = collaborative, event-based, open to contributions

Choose whichever fits your needs for that particular Snapchat group! Both are more private than the default public "My Story."

Can You Get in Trouble For Private Snapchat Stories?

For the most part, private Stories are intended for harmless fun and sharing between friends. However, you do need to be smart about what you post.

Even though private Stories disappear after 24 hours, recipients could always take screenshots or save your snaps. So it‘s wise to think twice before posting anything risky or inappropriate.

Here are a few rules of thumb:

  • Don‘t post illegal content – even if private, it‘s still illegal.

  • Don‘t share explicit images without consent. Revenge porn is a crime.

  • Ensure everyone viewing your Story is of legal age if you share sexual content.

  • Avoid bullying, threats, dangerous acts, violence, etc.

  • Remember screenshots are possible, so assume nothing is truly ephemeral.

As long as you use good judgment, private Stories are very low risk. Only share private Stories with people you completely trust. Never post something you wouldn‘t be comfortable with ANYONE in the group possibly saving.

While private Stories seem fleeting, don‘t treat them as a way to break rules or post iffy content. Stay smart to keep yourself and your friends safe.

The Takeaway

Private Snapchat Stories allow you to get more personal in your sharing – with just your closest friends as the audience.

To create one, simply swipe over when posting to your Story and select "Private" instead of "My Story." Pick friends you want to view it and you‘re all set!

Post silly selfies, inside jokes, vacation pics, or mushy moments without worrying who might see them. But remember private ≠ impermanent.

Follow these tips and have fun with private Snapchat Stories! Just be selective in what you post and who you share with. Maintaining trust and safety should always be priorities.

Now get snapping your private Stories! Just stay thoughtful about content and audience.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.