Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
- Snapchat has an addictive feature that keeps track of how many days in a row you and users send Snaps back-and-forth.
- These "Snapstreaks" are so popular that users will actually reach out to Snapchat when they lose a particular lengthy streak, and the company will often reinstate them upon request.
- The importance of Snapstreaks to some users was discussed in the latest episode of the Verge’s podcast "Why’d You Push That Button?"
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If you’ve ever exchanged Snapchats back-and-forth with a friend consecutively for more than a few days, you may notice that a flame count will appear that tracks just how long you can keep that streak alive.
That feature — dubbed Snapstreaks — is so addictive that users will actually email Snapchat if they happen to accidentally miss a day and break the streak. These streaks, which count into the high hundreds for Snapchat’s most loyal users, have come to signify a certain loyalty to friendships, despite both physical and emotional distances.
The "stickiness" of these Snapstreaks is something that The Verge explored in the most recent episode of its podcast, "Why’d You Push That Button?" The Verge talked to a few active Snapchat users, including one college student who said her only contact with a old high school friend was via Snapchat, where they have a streak of 880 days and counting.
"I guess you could say Snapstreaks are a real signal of your friendship," the college student says. "Sometimes when I get into fights with my friends, they purposefully ignore the Snapchats I send them to break our streaks, so I know that they’re mad at me, instead of them actually saying something to me."
Snapstreaks were first added to Snapchat in April 2015, and are represented on Snapchat with a flame emoji and the streak counter. Snapchat won’t say how many requests it fields from users asking for the company to reinstate their lost Snapstreaks, but it’s one of the most popular topics on Snapchat Support.
Additionally, the website has a ready-made form for people who want to tell Snapchat their streak has disappeared and they want it back. The form asks for your username and the username of the friend who the Snapstreak is with.
Although the form says it’s used to report Snapstreaks that have disappeared in error, friends of this reporter have used the form — with success — to reinstate Snapstreaks that disappeared after they forgot to respond for a day.
"The Snapstreaks are super sticky. People really care about them, and there’s no equivalent of that on Instagram," the host on The Verge’s podcast says in the episode. "That sounds torturous."
A Snapchat spokesperson told Business Insider that Snapstreaks are meant to be a "fun way to illustrate who you’re snapping with the most." The intention is not to "feel pressure to be ‘perfect’ or ‘popular’" on Snapchat, the spokesperson says.
Snapstreaks are one of the few popular, addictive features on Snapchat that have yet to be copied by competitors like Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat saw its Stories feature mimicked by Instagram Stories, which has since surpassed Snapchat in the number of daily users. While Snapchat has just over 200 million daily users, Instagram Stories hit 500 million daily users in January.
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