What Does the Lock Mean on Snapchat?

You might have stumbled upon some stories in Snapchat with a purple padlock next to it and wondered what is that supposed to mean. At first, it may look like that the snapper of the story has chosen to lock you out of the shared content but that’s quite the contrary.

A lock symbol on a Snapchat story means the story is a “private story” and was shared with a circle of friends in which you are one of them.

So if you saw a story with a purple padlock icon on it, that means you are specifically chosen to have access to it or even could be the only one with who the story is shared. As soon as you tap on the story, the purple lock will turn into a gray lock which means the story has been watched or read. Actually, this behavior applies when watching other regular stories too.

Snapchat private stories with purple and gray padlocks

Now if you want to know what a private story is and share your own private story, just keep reading this article.

What is a private story?

In October 2013, Snapchat introduced a new feature with which snappers could build and add a chain of snaps to a new feature called “Story”. The snaps that were shared as stories would only last 24 hours and then disappear. Adding the Stories feature to Snapchat resulted in positive feedback from the users. That’s why later on Instagram decided to incorporate the exact same feature into its application in August 2016.

By default, Snapchat Stories are publicly accessible by your followers. Without the Private Story feature, if you want to share a story, not to all of your followers, you would have to first block the users you don’t want to share the media with, wait for 24 hrs and then unblock them which would be a disaster! Remember that Private Story is not about locking out the ones you don’t want to see your Story, but about who you want to share a Story with.

How to make a private story on Snapchat?

  • Launch the application on your iPhone or android phone, then in the top left corner tap on your profile photo.
  • On your profile page tap on “+ Private Story” button. It’s right next to “My Stories”.
  • Now you should be in the “New Story” page. Find and Select your friends you want to share a Story with, then tap “Save”.
  • Your Private Story is now created and displayed under “My Stories” section. Tap on your newly created Story and you are ready to capture and share your new Private Story.


Can someone see if I added them to a private story?

Yes, Like I said above, when you add anyone to a Private Story, they will see a padlock on the story which indicates they are part of selected users who have access to this content. But regarding notification, you will not get notified when someone adds you to a Private Story nor will you when they publish their content on it.

On Snapchat If someone adds me to a private story, can I see the other people added to it?

Absolutely not, You won’t know who else has access to the private story. The only one who knows that is the Snapper who has shared it.

How do you know if you’re the only one on someone’s Snapchat private story?

You wouldn’t know. The only way is to ask the one who has shared the story.

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