One of the most popular messaging apps out there (and let’s face it, there are a lot of them now), and one which seemed to have come out of nowhere when it was first launched is Snapchat… a great app for streamlining conversations or for maintaining privacy.
But of course, as is the case with every other app with a social element, just having the app(and even having an account for the app) isn’t enough. You need friends and contacts who also use it so you have someone to use it with.
Whether this is your first time using Snapchat or you’re an expert, everyone can use these Snapchat username search tips to find your friend’s profile and start chatting.
I’ll admit that I use the app regularly but partly because of all the updates (which, don’t get me wrong, it’s great they update it, but sometimes these updates completely change the interface and make have to relearn things) and partly because of the app I sometimes find it difficult to search for people I know if I don’t already have their name.
Below, I will walk you through all of your options to search for and find Snapchat friends, including a few ways you may not have thought about. I will also walk you through how to search via phone number, increase your security and privacy, and more.
“With the growing reliance on social media, we no longer search for news, or the products and services we wish to buy. Instead they are being pushed to us by friends, acquaintances and business colleagues.” – Erik Qualman
Why use Snapchat Search?
You may find this to be a silly question but there are many reasons one might use Snapchat to search for people they either know or don’t know. As with most social media platforms, it is often times more fun and powerful when you have more connections within that platform.
With reportedly over 100 million users and a valuation of $10 billion, you can be certain that Snapchat is not going anywhere anytime soon. That means even if you realize that friends from work or school are not on the app, they likely will be in the future as the app continues to grow and become a dominant option in the social media realm.
Depending on if you want to search for your classmates, coworkers, colleagues, or old friends from school you will want to take a different approach in your search as compared to finding brand new friends.
There are built in techniques to find friends if you already have their email address or phone number or even their exact username. However, if you want to find completely new people to chat with, that is a bit harder to do. It takes a little effort and the realization that you may not be wild about some people you meet.
DISCLAIMER: If you find someone is harassing you or asking you to send inappropriate Snaps report them immediately to the local police (you may need to make a screen cap of the offending Snap), report them to Snapchat and block their username. Snapchat has gotten a reputation for being for private communications, and maybe that’s what you’re using it for, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with unwanted behavior. Going to a seafood restaurant, even while wearing a lobster bib, does not give the waiter license to stuff shellfish down your throat.
Snapchat Address Book Search
The first way you will want to try to search for people to add is by using the address book on your iPhone or Android. This is by far the easiest method and will allow you to quickly add people without typing in their username. This is also a good way to do a bulk add of people. This method really takes advantage of the software integration available on the most popular platforms, so you can usually have all of your contacts, messages, photos, etc. in one place. I say usually of course because, due to the specific nature of Snapchat, the messages and photos you receive as Snaps will not be archived.
Basically, when you first download the Snapchat app you will notice that it asks you whether the app can access your contact list on your phone. Make sure you say yes or else this method won’t work. If you accidentally said no, go into the permissions section of your phone’s settings and enable contact access to Snapchat.
Snapchat recently updated where their settings are so follow these steps to add friends from your address book.
- Open the Snapchat app and you will see the screen where you can take a photo.
- Swipe your finger down to reveal your personal profile along with “Added Me” “Add Friends” and “My Friends” as options.
- Tap the Add Friends option and this will bring up a screen where you can either choose to add someone based on a username or from your address book.
- Tap Add from Address Book and you will see a list of everyone in your address book.
- Find all of the friends you want to add and tap the little plus button next to their name. Now you are friends and can send them Snaps.
NOTE: This option displays everyone in your contact list including those with and without Snapchat. You can tell if they have Snapchat because below their name will be their username and if they don’t have Snapchat it will just be their phone number. If you tap the plus button next to a friend without a Snapchat account it will send them a message inviting them to join the app.
If you accidentally said no, go into the permissions section of your phone’s settings and enable contact access to Snapchat. Here’s how to do this on an iPhone:
- Go into the “Settings” app. Depending on how you’ve arranged the icons on your screens, this may appear in different places. Personally, I’ve put this on the quickbar (the gray bar at the bottom of the screen) because I find myself going in and out of Settings a lot as I’m checking WiFI connectivity and the like.
- Along the sidebar of Settings, you’ll see a lot of utility stuff: the Airplane Mode switch, your Wi-Fi status, Bluetooth, the Notifications menu, etc… Scroll down through this list, and once you get past the stuff that comes preloaded on your phone (Music, Videos, Podcasts, etc) you should see the icons for your social media apps.
- Tap on the Snapchat icon. In the menu that now fills the right hand side, you should seen an option (usually a toggle) to allow the app to have access to your Contacts, or vice-versa.
Snapchat Username Search
Another method you can employ is to find for someone’s Snapchat username through the search function. This is helpful if you just want to find one person and don’t want to sort through your list of contacts. This is also a good option if you know a person’s username and can manually type it in. It will probably be your default option once you’ve been using Snapchat for a while, and just want to add interesting new people you’ve met.
It’s very similar to the steps above with a few slight changes that I will note.
- Open the Snapchat app and swipe down to show various options.
- Tap on Add Friends as we did previously.
- Now, you will want to tap on Add by Username instead of from Address Book.
- Simply type in the username or name you want to add and the app will automatically populate with results. This will pull from the list of contacts on your phone as well as global Snapchat users.
TIP: Unfortunately, Snapchat won’t populate a list of usernames that aren’t already on your contact list so you will have to make due without. If you want to experiment a bit and add someone you don’t already know try typing in a username and tap the plus button. It will let you know if the username is not associated with a profile. For instance, you could type in a name and some numbers and tap add to chat with a new person.
Snapchat Search Using Phone Numbers
As of now, there is no way to search for someone on Snapchat by using their phone number besides add them as a contact and using the address book sync option that I mentioned below. This is largely due to security as you wouldn’t want a stranger having access to anyone’s phone number.
Snapchat stores your contact list on their servers along with phone numbers and matches those phone numbers against their database of usernames to show you what friends you have that already have an account. However, the app never releases that information linking your personal profile and username to your phone number.
In the past, there have been some concern that a hacker would be able to steal and/or generate lists of people’s profile, username, and phone number. Snapchat has made claims of increased security but this is a real threat and you may want to think twice before allowing the app access to your contact list and phone number.
Opt Out of Snapchat Search By Phone Number
Depending on how you use Snapchat and how open you are with your friends and your phone number you may choose to not allow people to find your profile by using your iPhone or Android cell phone number. This may be a good option if for instance your boss has your personal cell number and you don’t want them knowing you’re on Snapchat. This could also be a good option if you don’t want some people adding you like relatives or not very close friends.
Thankfully, there is now an option to disable the feature allowing people to search for your username based on your number. Simply follow these steps.
- Tap to open the Snapchat app and swipe down to view your profile and options.
- Tap on the little gear icon at the top right to access settings.
- You will notice the second option under My Account is Mobile Number, go ahead and tap on it.
- Now, you will see the number Snapchat has in it’s records associated with your account along with which country you’re located in and the option to “Allow friends to find me” switched on.
- Simply switch that option off and no one will be able to find you based on your phone number.
How to Delete and Block Snapchat Friends
There are a couple options you have if you decide you no longer want to Snap with another person. They may be annoying, harassing, or just not that interesting and you’re ready to cut the conversation off. Thankfully it’s super easy to both block and delete a friend and if you choose to reverse it, you can always friend them again down the road.
To block someone that has friended you but you haven’t friended them you can simply go to Snapchat and swipe down. you will notice an option that has “Added Me” and you will want to tap it. This is basically all of the people that have added you as a friend but you haven’t added them back. After viewing the list, you can swipe to the left next to any name and select either Block or Ignore so that they can no longer send you snaps.
To delete someone that you have friended back but no longer want to chat with is a little different. Basically, instead of choosing Added Me, you will want to select My Friends after swiping down. You will notice a list of all your friends along with purple check marks next to their name.
Simply tap on any name and then tap on the gear icon to the right of their name. This will bring up an option to either edit their display name, delete, block, or cancel. You can determine whether you want to delete the contact or just block them. This along with being able to manually delete your Snaps is another way to make sure your Snapchat experience is only what you want it to be.
That wraps up this guide detailing your Snapchat search options. Hopefully you found the friends and usernames you wanted to and can finally send that Snap you’ve been waiting to send.
Please comment below if you have any other tips and share this post on Facebook and Twitter if you found it to be helpful.