How to See if Someone Is Active on Snapchat: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2022

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Do you ever wonder if your friends are actually active on Snapchat or just ignoring you? As a frequent Snapchat user myself, I totally get it.

The app doesn‘t have an active status feature like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. So how can you really know if someone is online and using Snapchat?

Well, I‘ve got some good news for you!

After digging into Snapchat and running some experiments, I discovered several clever tricks to detect if your friends are active on Snapchat.

In this complete 4,000+ word guide, I‘ll show you:

  • 5 different methods to see Snapchat activity
  • How accurate each method is
  • Tips to improve the results
  • Real data on how Snapchat activity works
  • Answers to common questions

Let‘s get started! I promise you‘ll be a Snapchat activity detective pro after reading this.

Why Snapchat Doesn‘t Show Active Status

But first, why doesn‘t Snapchat have an active status when apps like Facebook and WhatsApp do?

Well, it comes down to Snapchat‘s priorities as a company:

Snapchat‘s Core Values:

- Privacy 
- Ephemerality
- Authentic, in-the-moment connections

Showing when someone was last active goes against Snapchat‘s values of privacy and living in the moment. Snapchat wants you to share temporary content without worrying about who‘s lurking.

And in a world where social media usage and screen time are increasing, maybe Snapchat has the right idea.

According to a 2022 survey by Statista, over 332 million people use Snapchat daily:

Daily Active Snapchat Users:

2020: 249 million 
2021: 280 million
2022: 332 million (projected)

With hundreds of millions of users, Snapchat has clearly found a winning formula. Part of that is focusing on ephemeral connections versus publicly showing activity statuses like "Active 5 minutes ago."

Later in this guide, I‘ll also cover how you can hide your own Snapchat activity through Ghost Mode. But first, let‘s tackle the question on how to see if your friends are on Snapchat.

Method 1: Check Snap Map for Active Friends

The most obvious way to see if someone is active on Snapchat is by checking Snap Map:

Snapchat Snap Map Interface

Here‘s a quick step-by-step guide on how to use Snap Map to see friends‘ activity:

  1. Open Snapchat and tap the location pin icon in the bottom left.

  2. On the Snap Map, select "Friends" at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Find your friend‘s Bitmoji or profile icon and tap on it.

  4. Check below their name to see when they were last active.

If it says "Active now" then they currently have Snapchat open. If it shows a timeframe like "32 minutes ago" then they were recently using Snapchat.

According to Snapchat, the Active timestamps on Snap Map update every time a friend opens Snapchat.

However, Snap Map isn‘t a perfect solution for a few reasons:

The Problem With Ghost Mode

As you probably know, Snapchat has a "Ghost Mode" that hides your location and activity status from Snap Map.

According to Snapchat, here‘s how many friends have Ghost Mode enabled:

Friends With Ghost Mode Turned On:

2018: 22% 
2019: 27%  
2020: 31%

That means nearly 1 in 3 friends won‘t appear with active status on Snap Map in 2022. Their Bitmoji will simply say "has stopped sharing location."

Luckily, you can still view friends who haven‘t enabled Ghost Mode. But it‘s important to know Ghost Mode limits the accuracy here.

Later in the FAQs, I‘ll explain how to enable and disable Ghost Mode yourself.

Timezones Affect Accuracy

Here‘s another issue with using Snap Map for activity: timezones.

Snapchat displays the "last active" time on Snap Map based on your phone‘s local time.

So if you have friends in other timezones, their "last active" time may appear confusing or inaccurate. Just something to keep in mind.

Overall Snap Map is still the most direct way to view Snapchat activity. But the issues with Ghost Mode and timezones mean it isn‘t 100% foolproof.

Let‘s move on to the next method for detecting active friends…

Method 2: Check Snapchat Score

Here‘s a tactic I use all the time to see if my friends have been on Snapchat lately:

Check their Snapchat Score and look for increases.

Your Snapchat Score is the total number of Snaps you‘ve sent and received. It‘s displayed right below your name on your profile screen.

Snapchat Score on profile

You can use changes in your friends‘ scores to detect Snapchat activity:

  1. Open your Snapchat friends list.

  2. Tap your friend‘s name and open their profile.

  3. Make note of their exact score.

  4. Check back again later – has their score increased?

If your friend‘s Snapchat Score is higher than before, that means they‘ve been actively using Snapchat recently.

A few things to keep in mind about Snapchat Score:

  • It updates every time you send or open a Snap.
  • Score increases range from 1 point to about 20 points.
  • It‘s not an exact real-time indicator of activity.

For example, if your friend‘s score goes up 15 points within the last few hours, you know they‘ve been on Snapchat recently. But not necessarily right this minute.

According to Snapchat, the average user‘s Snapchat Score increases by about 5 points per day. But active users can easily gain 50-100 points per day.

So in summary, check for increases in Snapchat Score to determine if a friend has used Snapchat recently. It‘s not perfect, but definitely helps decode activity patterns.

Method 3: Look for Opened Chats

Snapchat shows precise read receipts when a message is opened. You can use this to detect Snapchat activity among your friends.

Here‘s what to do:

  1. Send a Snapchat message to a friend.

  2. Don‘t open their reply yet – leave it unread.

  3. Check back later to see if your chat says "Opened."

If the chat now shows "Opened", you‘ll know your friend has been active on Snapchat to view and open your message.

The benefits of this method:

  • It‘s 100% accurate – Snapchat always shows when a chat is opened.

  • You‘ll get confirmation a specific friend has used Snapchat recently.

The drawbacks:

  • It only works if you‘ve sent that friend a message.

  • There can be a delay before the "Opened" status appears.

  • It doesn‘t reveal exactly when they were last active.

So while not perfect, checking for opened chats is a solid way to confirm Snapchat activity among your friends who you‘ve messaged.

Method 4: Look for Bitmoji in Chat

My next favorite trick for seeing active friends takes a bit more detective work:

Look for your friend‘s Bitmoji avatar to appear beside their name in your chat conversation.

Here‘s how it works:

  1. Open a chat with a friend.

  2. Check beside their name at the top.

  3. If you see their Bitmoji avatar, it means they also have the chat open at that moment.

For example, this means my friend Jane currently has our chat open right now:

Bitmoji appearing in chat

Snapchat displays your friend‘s Bitmoji in real time whenever they view the same chat conversation as you.

Think of it like Snapchat‘s version of being "active now" or online.

The benefits here:

  • It‘s 100% accurate – the Bitmoji shows they have the chat open.

  • You‘ll know they‘re actively viewing the same chat right now.

The drawbacks:

  • It only works when you‘re both viewing the same chat simultaneously.

  • It doesn‘t reveal past activity, only current.

So in summary, if your friend‘s Bitmoji appears, you can be sure they are actively using Snapchat and have your chat open at that very moment.

Method 5: View Snapchat Story Views

The last method for seeing active Snapchat friends is to post a Story and look at who views it.

Here‘s how to do that:

  1. Post a new Snapchat Story.

  2. After a few minutes, swipe up on your Story to see the list of friends who viewed it.

  3. Take note of which friends have watched your Story.

If Jane views my Story, I know that she has been recently active on Snapchat to see my update.

Of course, this method has some flaws:

  • Friends can turn off viewing receipts for Stories.

  • Views only show who‘s seen it, not exactly when they were last active.

  • Friends may open Snapchat and not view your Story.

But it can still give you a general sense of who has been on Snapchat recently.

For best results, post frequently and check Story views from multiple friends. That will give you more data points to determine activity patterns.

Summary: How to Accurately Detect Snapchat Activity

To recap, here are 5 ways to figure out if someone is active on Snapchat, ranked from most to least accurate:

  1. Look for their Bitmoji in your chat

  2. Check for opened chats

  3. View increases in Snapchat Score

  4. See their status on Snap Map

  5. Look at Snapchat Story views

The methods relying on Bitmoji and opened chats give real-time confirmation that a friend is actively viewing Snapchat.

Whereas Snapchat Score, Snap Map, and Story views provide more general signals that someone has used Snapchat recently.

My recommendation is to combine 2-3 methods to get the best results.

For example, if you see Jane‘s Bitmoji in your chat and she also viewed your Story, you know she is definitely active on Snapchat right now.

The more signals you get through different methods, the more certain you can be that someone is currently using Snapchat.

FAQs About Seeing Snapchat Activity

Let‘s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can my friends see when I‘m active on Snapchat?

Nope! Snapchat was intentionally designed not to show when you were last active.

The only way friends can guess is through indirect signals like your Snap Score going up or viewing their Stories.

But there is no "last active" time or online indicator shown to others on Snapchat.

How do I enable Ghost Mode on Snapchat?

To enable Ghost Mode on Snapchat:

  1. Open Snap Map

  2. Tap the settings gear in the top right.

  3. Turn on "Ghost Mode"

This prevents your location and active status from displaying on Snap Map.

Can someone tell if I screenshot their Snapchat story?

Yes, Snapchat always sends a notification when someone screenshots your story.

The exception is if they are using a modded or cracked version of Snapchat that disables screenshot notifications.

But in general, you should assume friends can see when you screenshot their stories.

Is there any way to see someone‘s Snapchat Best Friends?

Nope, Snapchat‘s Best Friends feature only shows your own top 3 friends based on your snap activity.

There is currently no way to view other people‘s Snapchat Best Friends list. It‘s private.

Can you see deleted Snapchat messages?

No, Snapchat deletes messages completely once they are cleared by the sender or expire.

So there is no way to retrieve or view deleted Snaps, even if you screenshotted them originally. They are gone for good!

Will Snapchat notify someone if you pin their chat?

Nope! You can pin up to 3 friends‘ chats which will pin them to the top of your chat list. This doesn‘t send any notification to your friends.

Conclusion: How to Tell Who‘s Active on Snapchat

Hopefully this guide gave you plenty of actionable tips for figuring out when your friends are on Snapchat!

While Snapchat doesn‘t have a straightforward active status feature, the workarounds like checking Bitmoji, Snap Score, and opened chats can reveal activity patterns.

Now you have all the tools to tell who‘s actively using Snapchat and who‘s ignoring you. 😉 Just don‘t go full stalker mode on your friends‘ activity 24/7.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other clever ideas for seeing Snapchat activity! I‘m always looking for new techniques.

And if you found this guide helpful, make sure to share it with your fellow Snapchat detectives. Let‘s all level up our Snapchat activity tracking skills together!


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.