Demystifying Snapchat‘s Solar System: An In-Depth Look at Visualizing Your Friendships

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Have you ever wondered who your "best friends" are on Snapchat? Or wanted a way to get insights into your closest social circle? Well, one of Snapchat Plus‘s most intriguing capabilities is the Snapchat Solar System, which visually maps out your relationships.

In this guide, we‘ll explore what exactly the Snapchat Plus Solar System is, how it works, and how it can help you analyze your digital friendships. Whether you‘re a long-time Snapchat aficionado or are just now discovering this celestial social feature, read on to have the Snapchat Solar System explained.

What is Snapchat Plus? A Quick Recap

Before we dive into the cosmos, let‘s do a quick rundown of what Snapchat Plus actually is.

Snapchat Plus is a premium subscription plan offered by Snapchat starting at $3.99/month. It unlocks exclusive features not available on regular Snapchat, like:

  • Rewatching Stories unlimited times
  • Seeing how many people rewatched your Stories
  • Pinning your #1 Best Friend
  • Viewing Snapchat Spotlight post metrics
  • Accessing special Filters and Lenses

But one of the most unique Snapchat Plus capabilities is the Snapchat Solar System – a visualization of your social graph based on astronomical objects. Now let‘s explore what exactly this entails.

Explaining the Snapchat Solar System Feature

The Snapchat Solar System allows Snapchat Plus subscribers to see a representation of how close they are to their friends. It does this by assigning each friend a planet that orbits around "you" as the sun.

Here‘s a high-level overview of how it works:

  • Inner planets = your closest friends
  • Outer planets = less close friends
  • The closer the planet, the tighter your bond

But what does each planet actually signify? Here‘s a breakdown:

Mercury: Your #1 Best Friend on Snapchat
Venus: Your #2 Best Friend
Earth: Your #3 Best Friend
Mars: Your #4 Best Friend
Jupiter: Your #5 Best Friend
Saturn: Your #6 Best Friend
Uranus: Your #7 Best Friend
Neptune: Your #8 Best Friend

So if Sally is Earth in your Snapchat Solar System, that means she‘s your 3rd closest friend on the app. The 8 planets represent your "Top 8" inner circle.

Accessing Your Snapchat Solar System

To access your own Solar System, as well as friends‘ Systems, you first need to subscribe to Snapchat Plus. This unlocks the feature.

Here‘s how to view it:

  1. Open a friend‘s Snapchat profile
  2. Look for the "Best Friends" or "Friends" badge
  3. Tap the badge to reveal the Solar System

This planet visualization shows where you rank in terms of closeness with that friend. You can also tap each planet to see which friends are at those #1-8 positions.

Pretty cool right? It brings an abstract concept like "best friends" to life visually. Keep reading for more details on how it works.

Solar Systems for "Best Friends" vs. "Friends"

When looking at someone else‘s profile, you‘ll notice some have a "Best Friends" badge, while others show "Friends." What‘s the difference?

Best Friends means you and that person are each other‘s #1 Best Friends. It‘s a two-way street.

Friends means you‘re one of their 8 closest friends, but the feeling isn‘t mutual. They don‘t crack your Top 8.

So in the example above, Kayla is in my Top 8, but I‘m not in hers. The "Friends" badge indicates an asymmetry in your bond.

The Implications of Your Planet Position

Knowing what planet you are in a friend‘s Solar System tells a lot about your relationship. Here are some examples:

  • If you used to be Venus but are now Neptune, your bond has weakened over time.

  • Being Uranus means you‘re an outer circle friend they chat with sometimes.

  • If you drop off the Solar System entirely, your friendship may have fizzled out.

  • Becoming Mercury means you‘ve cracked their inner circle as a top confidant.

As you can see, the Solar System provides a barometer for the health and status of your friendships. It transforms fuzzy concepts like "closeness" into something concrete.

How Snapchat‘s Solar System Compares to Other Social Media

Snapchat isn‘t the only platform trying to map out social connections. Here‘s how the Snapchat Plus Solar System stacks up to competitors:

  • Facebook uses emoji on profiles to denote Best Friends. Less visual than planets.

  • Instagram has no official friendship visualization. 3rd parties estimate it.

  • LinkedIn shows your connections network as constellations. Less focus on "closeness."

  • TikTok has no friendship visualization yet. But celebs have "planets" of fans.

So Snapchat‘s Solar System stands out for its creativity and precision in quantifying friendship strength. It‘s more visual than Facebook and more accurate than Instagram.

Pros of the Snapchat Solar System Feature

There are many benefits to having your social graph translated into celestial bodies:

  • Visualizes your inner circle – Plainly shows who your closest friends are.

  • Tracks friendship changes – Notices when bonds strengthen/weaken over time.

  • Conversation starter – "Oh cool, I‘m Mars in your Solar System!"

  • Motivates engagement – People may interact more to move up planets.

  • Satisfies curiosity – Lets you lurk on where you stand with friends.

Cons of the Snapchat Solar System

However, there are some drawbacks and risks with quantifying friendships this way:

  • Can cause stress if you obsess over planet positions.

  • May decrease diversity in conversations if focused only on top planets.

  • Not always accurate – closeness isn‘t just about Snapchat activity.

  • Can change too fast based on temporary sharing changes.

  • Hidden social hierarchy – Whose planets are we racing to be on anyway?

So while the Solar System is fun, it shouldn‘t be taken too seriously either. Your worth isn‘t defined by being Mercury or Neptune to someone.

The Solar System and Generation Z Friendships

Snapchat‘s user base skews young, especially toward Gen Z. For this generation, online friendships are incredibly important.

Some key stats:

  • 70% of Gen Zers have connected with new friends online during the pandemic.

  • 58% believe online-only friends can be as close as in-person ones.

  • 45% of Gen Zers actually prefer making friends online vs. offline.

For many Gen Zers, social media friendships are central to their identity and esteem. So a visualization like the Solar System really resonates – and can really motivate usage.

"What planet am I in my crush‘s Snapchat Solar System?" is a vital question in 2022 high schools. Expect social hierarchies to orbit these celestial maps.

Evaluating If Snapchat Plus Is Worth It

At the end of the day, is the Snapchat Solar System alone worth paying $3.99/month for Snapchat Plus? That depends.

For casual Snapchat users, probably not. But for Gen Z power users making digital friendships core to their lives? The planet positioning might be compelling enough.

Snapchat likely knows this. The Solar System caters directly to young users invested in quantifying friendships as status. And they may just pay monthly access to do so.

So while the utility varies by user, the Solar System is undoubtedly a creative, audacious experiment in social cartography. It aims to visualize our connections – even if the results aren‘t always earth-shattering.

The Future Possibilities of Snapchat‘s Social Solar System

While novel now, Snapchat has only scratched the surface of what‘s possible with friendship planets. Some potential new features could include:

  • Orbital patterns showing how friend positions change over time

  • Friendship forecasts predicting when someone may enter/exit your inner circle

  • Push notifications for major Solar System changes – "Jenny reached Mercury!"

  • Gamification elements like collecting friends across more planets

  • Custom planet names and symbols for friends

  • Shared Solar Systems for couples/groups to foster alignment

So in many ways, this is just the beginning of mapping social bonds to celestial bodies. As virtual friendships become more central in people‘s lives, expect more platforms to gravitate toward astro-visualizations.


At the end of the day, Snapchat Plus‘s Solar System feature provides a looked into your digital friendships by assigning each connection a cosmic position. While novel and creative, it shouldn‘t be taken too literally, as social media activity isn‘t everything. But for frequent Snapchat users, especially in Gen Z, the planets offer insight into social standing that many crave.

So next time you use Snapchat, take a peek at your Social Solar System. But don‘t get too worried if you‘ve shifted a few planets away from someone – true friendship ultimately transcends any single platform or parameter. Just have fun looking at the cosmic landscape!


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.