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What does the lock mean on Snapchat?

If you’re new to Snapchat (or just a casual Snapchat user), you might not be aware of all of its features, including a certain lock-shaped icon. If you’ve ever wondered what that little lock icon means on Snapchat, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explain what the lock is for and how it’s connected to a Snapchat feature.

What does the lock mean on Snapchat?

In Snapchat, that lock icon indicates that the Snapchat story you’re seeing is what’s known as a Private Story.

What exactly is a Private Story?

The New Private Story menu option on Snapchat.

A Private Story is a type of Snapchat story that allows the Snapchatter who posts it to restrict that story’s visibility to only a few, select friends. That is to say, if you post a Private Story, you can choose which of your friends can see it. Additionally, the only user who can invite other users to it or add Snaps to a Private Story is the user who created the Private Story in the first place.

So, if you see a lock icon on a Story, it likely means that you were selected by one of your Snapchat friends to view a Private Story they posted. And according to Snapchat’s help guide, if you post a Private Story, friends who weren’t selected to view it won’t know about that story as they won’t be notified about it.

You can post a Private Story by going to your Profile screen in the app and selecting +New story. Then from the menu that pops up, you’ll choose New Private Story and just follow the on-screen instructions.

Other things to know about Private Stories on Snapchat

Here are some other details you should know about Private Stories:

  • Up to 20 Private Stories can be made at a time.
  • Private Stories are not the same as Snapchat’s My Eyes Only feature: The My Eyes Only feature is a place where users can store Snaps and keep them private. Essentially, once set up, the My Eyes Only feature (and the Snaps you put there) is only accessible with a passcode. So if you have Snaps in your Memories section that you don’t want to be viewable by anyone but you, you can set up My Eyes Only and then send those Snaps to it.
  • When you want to view the Snaps you stored in My Eyes Only, you’ll then enter the passcode you created when you set up My Eyes Only. Private Stories, on the other hand, are just Snapchat stories restricted to only being visible to a specific audience, an audience that you get to choose the members of.

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Anita George
Anita has been a technology reporter since 2013 and currently writes for the Computing section at Digital Trends. She began…
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